As a Microsoft Premier Field Engineer I frequently get asked for more information on Active Directory topics. Most of the time I end up passing along one or more of the links in today's post. I finally decided to put these all in one place for quick reference. This list will be extremely valuable for anyone who wants to get started with Active Directory or even for a seasoned AD admin who wants to go deeper.
Blog etiquette says that I shouldn't use long, ugly URLs in the text of my post. But today I am including the full URL of each link in case you decide to copy and paste the links into an email
Active Directory Domain Services Overviewhttp://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831484.aspx
What is Active Directory?http://www.microsoft.com/en-in/server-cloud/windows-server/active-directory-overview.aspx
Active Directory Services Overview (wiki)http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/1026.active-directory-services-overview.aspx
Microsoft Active Directory: An Introduction (Microsoft Virtual Academy video series)http://channel9.msdn.com/Series/IntroToAD
Wiki: Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) Portal (Fantastic!)http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/13752.wiki-active-directory-domain-services-ad-ds-portal.aspx
Wiki: Active Directory Features in Different Versions of Windows Serverhttp://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/19037.active-directory-features-in-different-versions-of-windows-server.aspx
The AskDS blog remains the most amazing place on the internet to find deep technical answers to all of your AD questions. Here are links to some of their best articles related to learning Active Directory. Each of these posts contain links to key Active Directory information that every admin should know. http://blogs.technet.com/b/askds/archive/2010/07/27/post-graduate-ad-studies.aspx http://blogs.technet.com/b/askds/archive/2009/01/30/seeing-the-domains-through-the-forest-what-you-need-to-know-to-build-your-career-in-directory-services-technologies.aspx http://blogs.technet.com/b/askds/archive/2010/06/25/friday-mail-sack-1970-s-conversion-van-edition.aspx (scroll to bottom) And here are two bonus posts that I couldn't pass up. http://blogs.technet.com/b/askds/archive/2011/12/08/effective-troubleshooting.aspx http://blogs.technet.com/b/askds/archive/2011/09/02/accelerating-your-it-career.aspx
First, Do No Harm (DCPROMO checklist, highly recommended)http://blogs.technet.com/b/askpfeplat/archive/2012/08/06/first-do-no-harm.aspx
Active Directory Domain Services Operations Guide http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=16849
Best Practice Guide for Securing Active Directory Installations http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=16755
Best Practices for Delegating Active Directory Administration http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=21678
Windows Server 2008: Planning for Active Directory Forest Recovery http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=16506
Windows Server 2003 Active Directory Branch Office Guide http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=5838
Read-Only Domain Controller (RODC) Branch Office Guide http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=3608
Planning and Deploying Read-Only Domain Controllers http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=11003
Infrastructure Planning and Design: Active Directory Domain Serviceshttp://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=732
Active Directory Migration Tool (ADMT) Guide: Migrating and Restructuring Active Directory Domains http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=19188
How Active Directory Replication Topology Works http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc755994(WS.10).aspx
How Operations Masters Work http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc780487(WS.10).aspx
How the Windows Time Service Works http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc773013(WS.10).aspx
How the Data Store Works http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc772829(WS.10).aspx
Active Directory Maximum Limits - Scalabilityhttp://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/active-directory-maximum-limits-scalability(WS.10).aspx
How Domain and Forest Trusts Workhttp://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc773178(v=WS.10).aspx
Capacity Planning for Active Directory Domain Serviceshttp://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/14355.capacity-planning-for-active-directory-domain-services.aspx
Phantoms, tombstones and the infrastructure masterhttp://support.microsoft.com/kb/248047
FSMO placement and optimization on Active Directory domain controllershttp://support.microsoft.com/kb/223346
Windows 2000 Active Directory FSMO roleshttp://support.microsoft.com/kb/197132
Virus scanning recommendations for Enterprise computers that are running currently supported versions of Windows http://support.microsoft.com/kb/822158
Service overview and network port requirements for the Windows Server system http://support.microsoft.com/kb/832017
Things to consider when you host Active Directory domain controllers in virtual hosting environments http://support.microsoft.com/kb/888794
How DNS Workshttp://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc772774(WS.10).aspx
How DNS Support for Active Directory Workshttp://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc759550(WS.10).aspx
DNS Technical Referencehttp://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd197461(WS.10).aspx
DNS in Small Networks Step-by-Step Guidehttp://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=11156
DNS Best Practiceshttp://blogs.technet.com/b/askds/archive/2010/07/17/friday-mail-sack-saturday-edition.aspxScroll half way down the article.
Managing the aging and scavenging of server data http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc776907(WS.10).aspx
Optimizing your network to keep your DNS squeaky cleanhttp://blogs.technet.com/b/networking/archive/2009/02/09/optimizing-your-network-to-keep-your-dns-squeaky-clean.aspx
Don't be afraid of DNS Scavenging. Just be patient. http://blogs.technet.com/b/networking/archive/2008/03/19/don-t-be-afraid-of-dns-scavenging-just-be-patient.aspx
A Complicated Scenario Regarding DNS and the DC Locator SRVs http://blogs.technet.com/b/ad/archive/2008/08/08/a-complicated-scenario-regarding-dns-and-the-dc-locator-srvs.aspx
How DNS Scavenging and the DHCP Lease Duration Relatehttp://blogs.technet.com/b/askpfe/archive/2011/06/03/how-dns-scavenging-and-the-dhcp-lease-duration-relate.aspx
Any administrator worth their salt MUST know PowerShell. Here are some great links to help you get started.
Windows PowerShell: Learn It Now Before It's an Emergency http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/scriptcenter/dd742419.aspx This five-part video series by Ed Wilson, the Microsoft Scripting Guy, is a fantastic place to start.
Windows PowerShell: Scripting Crash Course http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/hh551144.aspx
List of Free PowerShell eBooks http://www.hofferle.com/archives/624
GoateePFE – PowerShell for Active Directory http://blogs.technet.com/b/ashleymcglone Yes. I am promoting my own blog as your source for learning how to use PowerShell with Active Directory.
Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7 with Service Pack 1 (SP1) http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displayLang=en&id=7887 This download gives you the admin tools on Windows 7. Enable them from Control Panel - Programs - Turn Windows features on or off - Remote Server Administration Tools. MCITP Certification & Exams http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/mcitp.aspx#tab2 Use the exam guides linked here for a great list of topics to measure your knowledge. If you see a term you don't recognize, then study it. TechNet Virtual Lab: Windows Server 2008 R2: What’s New in Active Directory https://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032437246&culture=en-us This is a free online lab where you can practice with Windows Server 2008 R2 and Active Directory. It includes a 2008 R2 domain controller, a Server Core member server, and a Windows 7 client. Windows Command Referencehttp://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=2632 Wow! This CHM (compressed HTML) help file contains syntax and examples of nearly every Windows command line utility, including Active Directory commands. Every administrator needs a copy of this. Note: After downloading the file be sure to unblock it (Right click the file, Properties, click the Unblock button, OK). Then you will be able to view the contents.
If you would like to have me or another Microsoft PFE visit your company and assist with the ideas presented in this blog post, then contact your Microsoft Premier Technical Account Manager (TAM) for booking information.
For more information about becoming a Microsoft Premier customer email PremSale@microsoft.com. Tell them GoateePFE sent you.
Terrific list. You might also consider adding a section for commercial products such as books and training material. I know of several I would suggest.
This could be the greatest blog post ever... :)
WOOOWWW!! thx for sharing.. can be the best reference post !! thank you so much ..
Amazing collection of articles about AD. I request you to add some nice links about DFS and DFSR (if possible). Thanks a lot.
Great list of links. Thanks for compiling all of these.
You point to some really great resources here. Thanks!
and in 2014, the content is still exactly what I'm looking for!!! THANK YOU, wish Microsofts Training was more real world.. learn the book stuff and them boot camp was more like front lines to help engineers really learn this stuff.
I was looking for some online AD Virtual environments that would allow someone to get real time experience but this is a great post with great references to learning, AD
You can use the TechNet Virtual Labs for free online VMs to try AD.