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Chapter 9. Networking with Microsoft Win... > Understanding the Microsoft Networki...

Understanding the Microsoft Networking Model

The Microsoft Networking model embraces the domain as the basic administrative container for the network. A domain is a grouping of computers and other devices that are managed by a Windows domain controller (a domain controller being a server that is the central authority for the domain). The domain maintains its own database directory of user accounts and controls its own resources such as printers and shared files.

While a domain could potentially serve thousand of users, there is often the need to go beyond the limitations provided by a single domain and expand the scale of the network. As already mentioned, the basic unit of the logical Microsoft network structure is the domain. The next largest unit is the tree. A tree is a collection of child domains. The tree itself is defined by a root domain, which serves as the parent domain for the child domains that branch from the domain root. The first domain you create serves as the root of the domain tree. Child domains branch off of root domain as shown in Figure 9.1.


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