Active Directory serves as a central location for network administration and security for the NAU & NAUStudents domain networks. It is responsible for authenticating and authorizing users and computers on domain joined computers.
Active Directory contains three major areas: Computers, Users, and Groups
Computers that are joined to the domain can be logged into with your UID. For example, when a user logs into a computer that is part of the NAU domain, it is Active Directory that verifies his or her password and allows that individual to log on.
Domain administrators can assign security policies and can have software installed or updated
All faculty, staff, students, and affiliates have a unique username in either or both the NAU and NAUStudents domain. These are used for authentication on computers, file and print shares, or accessing web pages.
Active Directory groups can be used for security and email (see the Exchange Email Distribution Lists). AD Groups are commonly used to provide access to a multitude of different systems like NAUShares and certain web sites.