Do I need Active Directory?

20 pts.
Active Directory
Microsoft Windows Server 2003
Network security
Office 2003
Terminal Server
I am needing to know if it is vital i setup the active directory. Using Windows Server 2003 on a server which will be used mainly as a terminal server for users to come into to access only data on this server, be able to access and copy data to their computer and run MS Office 2003. This server does not manage any workstations within the network nor does it manage any other data on any other network drives. Naturally, i will have to setup security for the users coming in remotely to the server but is active directory necessary?

Answer Wiki

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No – AD is not necessary. You can create local user accounts. Although, if the users have accounts in AD why would you want to manage separate credentials for this term server?

It sounds like you are asking if you specifically need to use the AD tools on this terminal server. No you do not. You can put the AD tools on this server if you want but they are not required there to manage users who already have AD accounts. If this is not already on a network with AD then it would benefit you and your users from the management aspect to install and use AD, yes. Believe me managing users is a lot easier and more organized with AD.

There are a lot of advantages to using Active directory. For starters it provides a great deal more organized and more easily managed structure for proving security and user rights. Here is a good tutorial which should give you many more benefits and good explanations.
~ technochic

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  • Labrune
    Users do not have accounts in AD anywhere on our network. Does AD give you additional security/restrictions?
    20 pointsBadges:
  • Kevin Beaver
    AD is very powerful - sometimes too much for its own good (and the sanity of network admins). Yes, you can do thousands of things with security in AD, literally. I had a similar need with a similar type server. I set things up without AD and it's perfect for what I need. If you don't have many users now and won't in the future, I'd say keep it simple with local accounts.
    27,550 pointsBadges:

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