Be the Master of Your Domain

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1 Be the Master of Your Domain Understanding Windows Server 2008 Active Directory Domain Services written by Tony Murray Directory Services Consultant, Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP)

2 Copyright Quest Software, Inc All rights reserved. This guide contains proprietary information, which is protected by copyright. The software described in this guide is furnished under a software license or nondisclosure agreement. This software may be used or copied only in accordance with the terms of the applicable agreement. No part of this guide may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording for any purpose other than the purchaser's personal use without the written permission of Quest Software, Inc. WARRANTY The information contained in this document is subject to change without notice. Quest Software makes no warranty of any kind with respect to this information. QUEST SOFTWARE SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIMS THE IMPLIED WARRANTY OF THE MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. Quest Software shall not be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, or other damage alleged in connection with the furnishing or use of this information. TRADEMARKS All trademarks and registered trademarks used in this guide are property of their respective owners. World Headquarters 5 Polaris Way Aliso Viejo, CA Please refer to our Web site for regional and international office information. Updated April 3, 2008 WPW_BeMasterOfYourDomain_040708_AG

3 CONTENTS ABSTRACT...II NEW FEATURES AND ENHANCEMENTS...1 NEW FOREST AND DOMAIN FUNCTIONAL LEVEL... 1 DOMAIN FUNCTIONAL LEVEL FOREST FUNCTIONAL LEVEL READ-ONLY DOMAIN CONTROLLER (RODC)... 2 FINE GRAINED PASSWORD POLICY (FGPP)... 3 FILE REPLICATION SERVICE V2 FOR SYSVOL REPLICATION... 5 DOMAIN NAME SERVICE IMPROVEMENTS... 6 ADMINISTRATOR ROLE SEPARATION... 7 ACTIVE DIRECTORY AS A SERVICE... 8 OWNER ACCESS RESTRICTIONS (OAR)... 9 AUDITING IMPROVEMENTS NTDSUTIL IMPROVEMENTS ACTIVE DIRECTORY DATABASE MOUNTING TOOL (DMT) GROUP POLICY IMPROVEMENTS MMC SNAP-IN IMPROVEMENTS LDP.EXE IMPROVEMENTS WINDOWS POWERSHELL AND ACTIVE DIRECTORY CONCLUSION...19 ABOUT THE AUTHOR...20 ABOUT QUEST SOFTWARE, INC CONTACTING QUEST SOFTWARE CONTACTING QUEST SUPPORT i

4 ABSTRACT Microsoft announced the release of Windows Server 2008 RTM on 4 February Previously codenamed Longhorn, this latest version of the server operating system from Microsoft marks a significant departure from its predecessors. One of the most noticeable differences is the introduction of the Server Core, a bare-bones version of the operating system that has no graphical user interface and uses about one-sixth of the disk space of a typical installation. Server Core lowers security risk by reducing the surface area of potential compromise and leverages maximum performance from the hardware it is installed on. Windows Server 2008 has other new and improved features, including the introduction of Hyper-V (a virtualization technology), a new version of Internet Information Service (IIS 7.0), significant changes in networking and DNS, and the introduction of Windows PowerShell. This whitepaper will address Active Directory or, more accurately, Active Directory Domain Services (ADDS), as it is now known with Windows Server The new name distinguishes ADDS from Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (ADLDS), previously known as Active Directory in Application Mode (ADAM). In addition to the minor name change, Microsoft has also made some interesting technological changes to Active Directory in Window Server Although they are not radical, the changes will nonetheless be of interest to administrators and architects, especially those working with branch offices and those challenged by password policy restrictions. This whitepaper introduces the changes made to Active Directory in Windows Server 2008 and addresses the impact for organizations with Active Directory already installed. ii

5 White Paper NEW FEATURES AND ENHANCEMENTS New Forest and Domain Functional Level In Windows Server 2003, Microsoft allowed administrators to set the functional level of the domain or forest to a specific value, assuming certain conditions were met. The available AD functionality was determined by the functional level. For example a Domain Functional Level of 2 (Windows Server 2003) permitted domain controller renames, updated and replicated last logon time stamp attribute and certain other features not available with other levels. Similarly, a Forest Functional Level of 2 allowed for cross-forest trusts, domain renames, and so on. Windows Server 2008 provides a new level: 3 (also known as Windows Server 2008). Domain Functional Level 3 Domain Functional Level 3 provides the following features: All features from the Windows Server 2003 domain functional level Distributed File System Replication support for SYSVOL, which provides more robust and detailed replication of SYSVOL contents Advanced Encryption Services (AES 128 and 256) support for the Kerberos protocol Last Interactive Logon Information, which displays the time of the last successful interactive logon for a user, the workstation used, and the number of failed logon attempts since the last logon Fine-grained password policies, which make it possible for password and account lockout policies to be specified for users and global security groups in a domain Forest Functional Level 3 Forest Functional Level 3 provides all the features available at the Windows Server 2003 forest functional level, but no additional features. The sole purpose of raising the forest functional level to 3 is to prevent any new downstream domains or domain controllers from being joined to the forest. One other item to note is that Windows Server 2008 domain controllers can be added to domains at Functional Level 2 (i.e., Windows Server 2003). If your organization has an urgent need for read-only domain controllers (RODCs), you can deploy them into your existing Windows Server 2003 forest without having to first upgrade your existing domain controllers. 1

6 Be the Master of Your Domain During the creation of a new forest using DCPROMO from a Windows Server 2008 domain controller, you are presented with the option to select your desired Forest Functional Level, as shown in the screenshot below. Read-only Domain Controller (RODC) The introduction of the RODC in Windows Server 2008 may represent the biggest change to AD since its Windows 2000 inception. The RODC is intended to reduce the risk of security compromise in locations where the threat is highest (such as a perimeter network) or where the physical security of the domain controller is not optimal (for example, a branch office). Unlike standard domain controllers (called writable domain controllers), the RODC does not replicate any changes to other domain controllers. This means that an attacker cannot use a compromised RODC to gain control of the forest by replicating permissions or schema changes. An attacker would be limited to using a compromised RODC to gain access to data held within the local credential cache. To reduce this risk, administrators have the ability to configure the RODC to cache only the password hashes of the accounts that will actually use the RODC for authentication. The risk of compromise can be reduced even further by installing the RODC in combination with the Server Core version of Windows Server This effectively lowers the surface area for attack and reduces the patching requirements. 2

7 White Paper The RODC also supports the filtered attribute set, a new feature that enables administrators to define a set of attributes with values that do not replicate to RODCs in the forest. An example would be an application that uses certain attributes to store credential information for authentication to the application. If these attributes are added to the filtered attribute set, their values are replicated between writable domain controllers as normal, but they are not replicated to your RODCs. However, Windows Server 2003 DCs do not support the filtered attribute set and will therefore replicate the attribute values to RODCs. For this reason, it is recommended to use the filtered attribute set only in forests at Functional Level 3, which have no domain controllers below Windows Server An RODC can be configured as a Global Catalog Server (ROGC). Although it sounds like RODC/ROGC would be an ideal candidate for use with Exchange Servers deployed in branch offices, this is not the case. Exchange Servers cannot make use of RODC because Exchange requires a writeable DC/GC to be available. Branch offices will need to maintain a writeable domain controller locally (making RODC/ROGC unnecessary) or centralize their Exchange servers at hub sites and let clients access them remotely. A branch office considering RODCs may find this an unacceptable limitation. Fine Grained Password Policy (FGPP) Password policies define the rules for domain user passwords. The screenshot below shows the default settings in Windows Server Prior to Windows Server 2008, password policy was applicable domain-wide. It was not possible to define different password policies based on organization unit (OU), group membership, or anything else. Organizations with political or legal requirements for separate passwords policies for specific groups of users often found this to be a serious limitation of the product. The only realistic alternatives were costly: either deploy separate domains with separate password policies or rely on thirdparty tools that worked around the limitation. With Windows Server 2008, Microsoft now delivers a solution for assigning different password policies for different users. The feature is known as Fine-Grained Password Policy (FGPP) and is only available for domains at Functional Level 3 (Windows Server 2008). 3

8 Be the Master of Your Domain FGPP is not implemented using Group Policy; the domain password policy is configured within the Default Domain Policy. The policies are defined within a new Password Settings Object (PSO) within a Password Settings Container (PSC) located within the System container within each domain. You can see this container inside the Advanced view of Active Directory Users and Computers, as shown below: FGPP lacks a user interface to create and manage password policies. As of the RTM release of Windows Server 2008, one of the few ways to generate policies is to manually create a new msds-passwordsettings object and then manually populate the required 11 attribute values using ADSIEDIT. The procedure is available on the Microsoft Technet web site. Future releases of Windows Server 2008 may include a user interface or PowerShell scripts for managing FGPP. In the meantime, third-party tools have already appeared, including the free PSOMgr command line utility. PowerShell CMDlets for managing PSOs are included in Quest s free ActiveRoles Management Shell for Active Directory (see the PowerShell section below for further details). After creation, the PSO is linked to either user (or inetorgperson) objects or to security groups. It is not possible to directly link the PSO to an OU. Microsoft suggests creating shadow groups that track the contents of an OU and adjusting the group membership accordingly. There is no built-in tool available for creating shadow groups, but it is possible to achieve the desired result by creating a script and running it as a scheduled task. Quest s ActiveRoles Server solution includes a Dynamic Groups feature that delivers the required functionality. 4

9 White Paper When working with PSOs, you might find cases where different policies apply to a single user. FGPP provides a sophisticated method for managing conflicts. An attribute named msds-passwordsettingsprecedence can be set to define the precedence value for a PSO; a low value indicates a higher rank. If a user has two policies of equal precedence, the PSO with the smaller GUID applies. Administrators can verify a specific user s policy by querying the msds-resultantpso attribute value. Once you have reached a Domain Functional Level 3 and can implement FGPP, you can tighten security in your domain by setting more restrictive password policies for certain account types. For example, you could increase the minimum password length for administrative accounts, or you could expire passwords for service accounts every 12 months instead of setting the Password never expires flag. File Replication Service v2 for SYSVOL Replication The problems associated with troubleshooting SYSVOL replication using File Replication Service (FRS) in previous versions of Windows Server have been resolved. Windows Server 2008 supports the use of Distributed File System Replication (DFSR) for SYSVOL replication. Microsoft first introduced DFSR (also sometimes known as FRS2) in Windows Server 2003 R2, but support for SYSVOL replication was not available until Windows Server FRS and DFSR are not compatible. When introducing a new Windows Server 2008 domain controller into an existing domain with Windows Server 2003 domain controller, SYSVOL replication will take place using FRS. To take advantage of DFSR, you must be at Domain Functional Level 3 (Windows Server 2008) and then go through the process of migrating from SYSVOL replication using FRS to DFSR. Microsoft provides a tool for this (dfsrmig.exe), but the process itself is complicated. Despite the risks and difficulties associated with migrating from FRS to DFSR, using the new technology for SYSVOL replication is strongly recommended. The general unreliability of SYSVOL replication with FRS and the challenges associated with the diagnosis and resolution of problems make the move to DFSR compelling. DFSR is not a patched version of FRS, but rather a complete re-development. If you create a new forest with domains at Functional Level 3, DFSR will be used by default for SYSVOL replication. You do not need to go through the process of migrating from FRS. 5

10 Be the Master of Your Domain The screenshot below shows a sample event from the DFS Replication log on Windows Server 2008 domain controller, indicating a successful initiation of SYSVOL replication following DCPROMO of a new domain controller. Domain Name Service Improvements Windows Server 2008 includes a number of minor improvements to Domain Name Service (DNS). Your DNS servers must be running Windows Server 2008 in order to take advantage of these improvements. For organizations with large DNS zones, the new background zone loading feature can greatly reduce the time it takes for a DNS server to respond to queries after startup. In previous versions of Windows, the DNS service would wait until all zones were loaded before the server would respond to client requests. This could take up to an hour or more in organizations with a number of AD-integrated zones containing a large number of records. The DNS service now has the ability to spawn multiple threads to load AD integrated zones. This means that, after starting, DNS will respond immediately to client requests for any zone that is loaded rather than first waiting until all zones are loaded. If an AD-integrated zone has not yet fully loaded, DNS will still respond to the client request by retrieving the specific record requested from AD. A new read-only zone has been created to support RODCs. Once an RODC is introduced into the domain, a primary read-only zone is created and stored on the RODC. Writeable versions of the zone are stored on the writable domain controllers at hub sites. RODC administrators can view the read-only zone data, but cannot write to it. 6

11 White Paper In an attempt to move away from the reliance on WINS, Microsoft has introduced a new GlobalNames DNS zone, so that single-label host names can be resolved throughout the forest. The purpose of GlobalNames is to support a limited number of host names, such as corporate servers and web sites. Unlike WINS, it is not intended for peer-to-peer name resolution. Windows Server 2008 DNS also supports IPv6 addresses, which are 128 bits in length, in addition to the traditional 32bit IPv4 addresses. Administrator Role Separation One of the biggest problems with previous versions of AD was the proliferation of accounts with Domain Admin privilege. Any task that required the equivalent of local administrator rights on a domain controller needed Domain Admin privilege, since domain controllers, unlike member servers, do not have local accounts. For example, a network interface card cannot be replaced on a domain controller without Domain Admin permissions. Microsoft recognized this obvious limitation and partially addressed it in Windows Server Administrator role separation is now possible for RODCs, but not for writeable domain controllers. During DCPROMO for a new RODC, you are prompted to specify an account or group for delegated RODC installation and administration. The specified name will be assigned the local administrator role on the RODC. You can see the name on the Managed By tab of the domain controller properties in Active Directory Users and Computers, as shown below: 7

12 Be the Master of Your Domain The local administrator permissions pertain only to the local RODC. For instance, a local administrator for RODC1 has no automatic rights to RODC2. There is currently no way to centrally delegate the local administrator role for all RODCs in a domain or forest because the information is stored in the local registry on the RODC and not in AD. In addition to the local Administrator role, other standard roles can also be delegated, such as Users, Guests, Backup Operators, and Print Operators by using local roles feature of NTDSUTIL. The role separation process for RODCs provides all needed functionality, but implementing the process is non-intuitive unless you are already familiar with NTDSUTIL. Currently, there are no third-party tools that provide a graphical user interface for managing RODC roles either locally on the server or centrally. Active Directory as a Service On domain controllers running earlier versions of Windows Server, the AD functions are wholly integrated into LSASS.EXE, a critical system process that cannot be stopped and started without restarting the server. On Windows Server 2008 domain controllers, the AD role still uses the LSASS.EXE process, but it now runs as a separate service, named Active Directory Domain Services, that can be stopped and started just like any other Windows service (see screenshot below). This is a very useful feature. You can now run tasks such as offline defragmentation of the AD database (NTDS.DIT) without having to shut down and reboot in Directory Services Restore Mode (DSRM). The feature also helps when performing tasks such as hardware maintenance, operating system updates and application installations that require server restarts. By stopping the service and setting the start-up type to manual prior to performing such tasks, you ensure that client interaction with AD is not interrupted. However, a reboot is still required when performing an AD restore operation. While it is possible (although not officially supported) to carry out a restore while the Active Directory Domain Services service is stopped, the operation will still require a reboot after the restore has been completed. This ensures that all internal memory caches are refreshed. 8

13 White Paper Owner Access Restrictions (OAR) An inconvenient feature of AD delegation is that the creator of an object automatically becomes the owner of that object. The owner has full control over the object. In a fully delegated environment this feature can be problematic and can make troubleshooting more difficult. For example, a service desk employee may have been delegated the ability to create, but not delete, user objects in a given OU. As the creator and owner of an object, the employee will be able to delete it. To allow restriction of the permissions automatically assigned to the creator of an object, Windows Server 2008 introduces a new security principal named OWNER RIGHTS. Read-only permissions to the OWNER RIGHTS principal on the given OU would prevent the employee mentioned above from deleting any user objects. The screenshot below from Active Directory Users and Computers shows delegation of Read-only permissions to the OWNER RIGHTS security principal: OAR is a useful feature for organizations that have implemented a granular delegation model. Smaller organizations and those with a simple delegation model are unlikely to require the features provided by OAR. 9

14 Be the Master of Your Domain Auditing Improvements Attribute Value Information When configured correctly, versions of AD prior to Windows Server 2008 provided a reasonable level of audit detail. It was possible to see that an attribute had been changed and identify who changed it. However, the audit information did not include the value of an attribute before and after it was changed. Windows Server 2008 provides this information. This extremely useful feature can be used by administrators to quickly revert to the previous value if the change was accidental. The screenshots below show an example of two audit entries from a Windows Server 2008 security event log. They indicate that the Department attribute for a user has been changed from Marketing to Consulting. The auditing enhancements in Windows Server 2008 also ensure that attribute value information is audited when objects are created, moved, or undeleted. Granular Control of Auditing The Audit Directory Service Access Group Policy setting for controlling AD auditing has been divided in Windows Server 2008 into four sub-categories to allow a more granular level of control. The four categories are: Directory Service Changes Directory Service Replication Detailed Directory Service Replication Directory Service Access For example, it is now possible to switch on auditing of Detailed Directory Service Replication events when troubleshooting a replication issue without having your security event log fill up with other AD-related events. 10

15 White Paper Unfortunately, the audit settings for the four sub-categories cannot be set using the Group Policy Management Console. It would be necessary to provide backwards compatibility with domain controllers running earlier versions of Windows Server. To manage the sub-categories, you will need to use the auditpol.exe command line tool, which is detailed on the Microsoft Tech Net. Unless you are required by law to maintain a certain level of auditing, setting an appropriate level for your AD forest will likely be a case of trial and error. You will need to strike a balance between the need for information and ensuring your Security event logs are not swamped with unneeded events. Group Policy While Windows Server 2008 provides better information for AD access, the information it provides regarding Group Policy changes is less helpful. Windows Server 2008 auditing can be configured to provide a limited amount of information about a change to a Group Policy Object (GPO). To determine what values were changed within a GPO, by whom, and when, you will need to deploy Advanced Group Policy Management (AGPM), which is part of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack and available only to customers who have bought Software Assurance. Gathering audit information from a large number of domain controllers for troubleshooting and reporting purposes can be time consuming. Mid-market and enterprise organizations need an effective method of consolidating audit events into a central repository. A number of consolidation solutions are available, including Microsoft s System Center Operations Manager 2007 and third-party products such as Quest s InTrust. InTrust for Active Directory captures comprehensive information about Group Policy changes in addition to AD-related audit events while protecting sensitive objects and attributes from changing. This provides a single point of reference for all events. NTDSUTIL Improvements NTDSUTIL is a command-line tool that allows a number of low-level tasks to be carried out against AD. Incorrect usage of this tool can cause major disasters, so typically these tasks are reserved for experienced AD administrators. A number of changes have been introduced to NTDSUTIL in Windows Server Many of these allow Active Directory Domain Services and Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services instances to be managed from the same tool and accommodate the RODC. Two major functionality changes deserve special mention: the ability to create Install From Media (IFM) files for new domain controller creation, and the ability to manage AD snapshots. 11

16 Be the Master of Your Domain Creating Install from Media (IFM) Files Installation from media was first introduced in Windows Server 2003 AD to resolve the problems associated with replicating large amounts of directory data during domain controller promotion. The Windows Server 2003 method involves taking a System State backup on a working domain controller, restoring the System State files onto the member server to be promoted to a domain controller, and then using DCPROMO with the /ADV switch to instruct the member server to use the directory data from the restored System State files. This process works well but it is relatively inefficient; it involves backing up and restoring the entire System State when only the AD portion of the System State is required. This can create a security risk because the AD passwords are maintained within the System State backup and are therefore vulnerable to being compromised. Windows Server 2008 refines the Install from Media (IFM) method by providing an NTDSUTIL IFM command that generates only the files required by DCPROMO. The passwords are removed from the media as part of the creation process, effectively removing the risk of their being compromised. When run on a writable domain controller, the NTDS IFM command can be used to generate media files for both writeable and read-only domain controllers. RODCs can generate media files for new RODCs, but not for writeable domain controllers. The screenshot below shows the creation of media for an RODC from a writeable domain controller. 12

17 White Paper Managing AD Snapshots The Windows Server 2008 version of NTDSUTIL offers the ability to create snapshots of the AD database. Snapshot technology is not new in the Microsoft world, but creation of AD snapshots for off-line perusal is. NTDSUTIL provides a new snapshot command option to list, create, mount, and delete AD snapshots. The section below describes how the snapshots can be mounted and used to add value to the recovery process. Active Directory Database Mounting Tool (DMT) Windows Server 2008 AD Database Mounting Tool (DMT) is run from the command line as DSAMAIN.EXE. Note that DSAMAIN.EXE is also the name of the Exchange 5.5. Directory Service and the ADAM service in Windows Server The tool provides a useful method of looking at AD data from past backups without the need to restore into Directory Services Restore Mode (DSRM). To reach the point where a snapshot of AD database is available for off-line perusal, the following steps are required. 1. Create a snapshot of the AD database using the NTDSUTIL snapshot command. 2. Mount the snapshot by using the NTDSUTIL snapshot command again. 3. Run dsamain, pointing to the mounted snapshot. 4. While dsamain is running, launch the desired tool for off-line viewing (for example, LDP.EXE, ADSIEDIT, or Active Directory Users and Computers). The screenshot below shows Active Directory Users and Computers pointing to a locally mounted AD snapshot on port (as opposed to the default LDAP port 389): 13

18 Be the Master of Your Domain DSAMAIN opens the mounted snapshot as a read-only instance. You can compare the information in the snapshot to information in the live directory. When objects are accidentally deleted, they can be restored by using existing methods for tombstone reanimation (e.g., ADRestore).The information from the mounted snapshot can then be used to manually enter the attributes removed during the deletion process (which is most of them). Another use of the DMT is to quickly search through old snapshots to locate the one that contains the required data for recovery. You can then use traditional authoritative restore methods to recover from the appropriate snapshot. While the ability to mount snapshots provides a useful enhancement to the current AD recovery toolset, it still does not deliver the comprehensive recovery mechanism available with certain third-party tools. AD recovery is no quicker in Windows Server 2008 than it was with previous versions. The native toolset may suffice for smaller organizations, but other organizations may want to consider third-party options such as Active Administrator for a quick and easy restore option along side Active Directory management tools or Recovery Manager for Active Directory for deeper comparison reports and full forest recovery. These solutions to ensure AD objects are recovered in the shortest possible time with minimal complexity. Group Policy Improvements It is not possible to detail all of the Group Policy improvements in Windows Server 2008 in this document. Instead, only the most significant change will be addressed: the new Group Policy Preferences feature. Windows Server 2008 incorporates the Group Policy Preferences features previously known as PolicyMaker Standard Edition and Policy Share Manager. These greatly extend the range of configurable settings within a Group Policy Object (GPO). Examples include mapped drives, scheduled tasks, and Start menu settings, which are not possible to control using standard Group Policy settings. They are known as preferences because, unlike traditional policies, they are not enforced. Users have the ability to change the preference settings on the client. An example of a common Group Policy Preference usage is creating a mapped drive to a departmental share for a specific group of users. Previously, this type of drive mapping would typically have been implemented using logon scripts method which was not consistently reliable. 14

19 White Paper Windows Server 2008 includes the required Client Side Extensions (CSEs) to process preferences. A separate CSE download must be installed for Windows Vista, Windows XP SP2, and Windows Server 2003 SP1 (and later). The screenshot below shows the addition of preferences in the Group Policy Editor. For more information about Group Policy enhancements in Windows Server 2008, visit Microsoft Tech Net. Microsoft s Group Policy Management Console (GPMC), which was previously a downloadable add-on utility, is now shipped with Windows Server The GPMC that comes with Windows Server 2008 has been adapted to support MMC 3.0, but it is not substantially different from previous versions. It is disappointing that Advanced Group Policy Management (AGMP) is not bundled as standard with Windows Server AGMP provides a host of useful features for Group Policy management, but it is available only as part of Microsoft s Desktop Optimization Pack to customers who have purchased Software Assurance. Organizations without Software Assurance might consider third-party products that provide enhanced Group Policy management features. 15

20 Be the Master of Your Domain MMC Snap-in Improvements Windows Server 2008 includes a few minor changes to the AD-related MMC snapins; the addition of the Attribute Editor tab in Active Directory Users and Computers (DSA.MSC) is the best. Available in the Advanced view, the Attribute Editor tab allows you to view and edit the values of attributes not exposed in the snap-in s other tabs. In previous versions of Windows Server, this capability required launching another snap-in (ADSIEDIT.MSC). ADSIEDIT has now been updated to incorporate the same attribute editor. It provides the same functionality as before, but it is slightly more intuitive to work with. Active Directory Users and Computers could be further improved by showing the object s Distinguished Name (DN) on the Object tab. It is useful to be able to quickly obtain the value of the DN when working with command-line utilities. Currently, all versions of Windows Server show only the object s canonical name. The Attribute Editor available with Windows Server 2008 will provide you with the DN, but it takes a few clicks to get there. Organizations with a large number of sites will appreciate the ability to search for domain controllers within the Sites and Services snap-in (DSSITE.MSC). Previously the only option was to browse through the sites until the domain controller was found. The majority of the other snap-in changes are cosmetic. MMC 3.0 is used for all snap-ins in Windows Server 2008 giving them a slightly different look and feel. 16

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