Active Directory® Domain Services (AD DS) stores information about users, computers, and other resources on a network. AD DS helps administrators manage this information securely. It also facilitates resource sharing and collaboration among users. AD DS is required for directory-enabled applications, such as Microsoft® Exchange Server, and for other Windows Server® technologies, such as Group Policy.


AD DS requires a Domain Name System (DNS) server to be installed on the network. If you do not have a DNS server available for name resolution in the domain, you will be prompted to install the DNS server role on this server.

The following topics provide information about using the Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard and about implementing common configurations of AD DS:

Before you install AD DS, be sure that you have planned how AD DS will be deployed on your network, including DNS server support for AD DS. For more information about planning your AD DS deployment, see Planning and Architecture: AD DS (