Answering: What Is a Domain Controller & What Does it Do?

Many of the computer engineers and users, especially involved in system networking have come across a Domain Controller. Without it, there is no domain, means there can not be a controlled network.

What is definition of a domain controller, what does a domain controller do? Where is it used? How does domain controller work with non Windows-based systems? In this article, we will look at answers to all these questions.

First Learn What a Domain Is?

Before we learn what a domain controller is, knowing what a domain is will help you understand the concept of the domain controller better. So, what is a domain?

The answer to this question is simple: A domain is a set of interconnected resources on a Windows-based platform, such as printers, applications, etc) for a group of users. Users who are part of the domain (who are given usernames and passwords to log on to the domain) are granted specific permissions to access the resources, which may be located on one or more servers in the network.

In other words, a domain is a logical group of computers that maintain a central database, called Active Directory (AD). The database contains the user security and accounts information for the resources in that domain. Any person who uses computers within a domain gets his own account, which is assigned access to resources within that domain.

Now To the Question: What Is a Domain Controller?

What is a domain controller? Well, a domain controller (DC) or network domain controller is a Windows-based computer system that is used for storing user account data in a central database. A domain controller in a computer network is the centerpiece of the Active Directory (AD) services that provides domain-wide services to the users, such as security policy enforcement, user authentication, and access to resources.

A domain controller is a great tool for system administrators, as it allows them to grant or deny users access to system-wide resources, such as printers, documents, folders, network locations etc, via a single username and password. Once a domain controller is configured in a company, office or a building, it takes over the responsibility of responding to user's security authentication requests, such as checking permissions, logging in, etc.

When a client computer joins a domain, any user can login to the domain controller, using that computer. This benefit of that is that no matter which domain member (computer) he logs in from, he is able to access all his personal resources including the files he placed on the Desktop, files in Documents, printers, and his personal desktop preferences.

Domain Controller Compatibility with Operating Systems

A domain controller can communicate with all domain members or workstations but there is a limitation to the Active Directory (AD) System. The limitation is that the domain controller must host a Windows-based operating system. It means that all the domain members must also use the Windows operating system.

Fortunately, this limitation can now be overcome by use of Samba. Samba is open source software that allows workstations running other operating systems like OpenVMS, IBM System 390,Unix and Linux to interact with the domain controller. This is advantageous as because of this network administrators gets much more flexibility in setting up a computer network. It is particularly very useful in large organizations in which different departments need different operating systems.

If you were seeking information on "definition of a domain controller" or "what is a domain controller", hope this article explained that well to you.

Also Read:  How To Choose a Domain Name?

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Best Steps to Teaching Technology to Elders

Senior citizens and elderly are often faced with loneliness and this could cause them health problems. Today, technology can help seniors overcome the loneliness. It could further be a great thing as most of the world is connected through Social Media and the technology! The seniors would not feel lonesome.

Best Steps to Teaching Technology to Elders

  • Technology, gadgets and internet could seem overwhelming, especially for seniors. Although, the internet is quite self explanatory, most elderly are afraid of technology and feel the fear of it. The first step for learning and teaching the technology would be to overcome this fear. Tell your students that technology and internet is no big deal and once you get into it, you'll learn it yourself.

  • Start with the basics. Introduce them to the essential websites like Google and Wikipedia. Tell them how to search anything over the internet. Make them familiar with Wikipedia. Show them the websites of famous newspapers. Tell them that the internet is the most friendly and knowledgeable library on earth.

  • Mention the internet jargon like browser, URL, web address, website, downloading, Facebook, email, virus, antivirus and webcam. These words could seem haunting to a non-familiar person although they are just nothing.

  • Staying safe is crucial for life on cyberspace. One could witness advertisements on most of the websites these days; some of them could lead to malicious websites and content. While most users would learn about safety on their own, it is advisable to teach the seniors about it. Also advise them to use smart passwords and never to remain logged in. Tell them not to reveal their personal information like ID card numbers and bank details online.

  • Let your students have hands-on experience. Do not turn on the gadget or initialize the browser for them. Tell them how to do it and let them do it themselves.

  • Introduce them to the social media on internet. Set up email accounts and ask them to email you as an assignment.

  • The next step shall be Facebook and other social media websites they might opt for. You might need to help them in setting up the account but after that let them play and learn on their own.

Once, the seniors become familiar with the sites and gadgets, they would learn the tricky parts after experience!


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