New Features In Windows Server 2012 Active Directory Domain Services

By | February 16, 2017

New AD DS Features In Windows Server 2012

The following are new features / improvements in AD DS in Windows Server 2012.

  • Virtualization that just works

    Windows Server 2012 provides greater support for the capabilities of public and private clouds through virtualization-safe technologies and the rapid deployment of virtual domain controllers through cloning.

  • Simplified deployment and upgrade preparation

    The upgrade and preparation processes (dcpromo and adprep) have been replaced with a new streamlined domain controller promotion wizard that is integrated with Server Manager and built on Windows PowerShell. It validates prerequisites, automates forest and domain preparation, requires only a single set of logon credentials, and it can remotely install AD DS on a target server.

  • Simplified management

    Examples of simplified management include the integration of claims-based authorization into AD DS and the Windows platform, two critical components of a broader feature known as Dynamic Access Control (DAC). DAC comprises central access policies, directory attributes, the Windows file-classification engine, and compound-identities that combine user and machine identity into one.

    In addition, the Active Directory Administrative Center (ADAC) now allows you to perform graphical tasks that automatically generate the equivalent Windows PowerShell commands. The commands can be easily copied and pasted into a script simplifying the automation of repetitive administrative actions.

  • AD DS Platform Changes

    The AD DS platform comprises core functionality, including the “under-the-covers” behaviors that govern the components upon which the rest of the directory service is built. Updates to the AD DS platform include improved allocation and scale of RIDs (relative identifiers), deferred index creation, various Kerberos enhancements and support for Kerberos claims in AD FS.

Active Directory and AD DS has been at the center of IT infrastructure for over 10 years, and its features, adoption, and business-value have grown release over release. Today, the majority of that Active Directory infrastructure remains on the premises, but there is an emerging trend toward cloud computing. The adoption of cloud computing, however, will not occur overnight, and migrating suitable on-premises workloads or applications is an incremental and long-term exercise.

New hybrid infrastructures will emerge, and it is essential that AD DS support the needs of these new and unique deployment models that include services hosted entirely in the cloud, services that comprise cloud and on-premises components, and services that remain exclusively on the premises. These hybrid models will increase the importance, visibility, and emphasis around security and compliance, and they will compound the already complex and time-consuming exercise of ensuring that access to corporate data and services is appropriately audited and accurately expresses the business intent.