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Lesson 6. Using Open Directory > Directory Services Concepts

Directory Services Concepts

Giving a user multiple user accounts on different computers can cause problems. For instance, if each computer in a network has its own private authentication database, a user might have to remember a different password for each computer. Even if you assign the user the same password on every computer, if the databases are independent, the information can become inconsistent over time, as the user changes passwords in one location but forgets to do so in another. One strategy to resolve this problem is to create a single authentication database and make it available to all computers.

Directory services provide exactly this kind of central repository for information about the computers, applications, and users in an organization. With directory services, you can consistently maintain information about all the users—such as their names, passwords, and preferences—as well as about printers and other network resources. You can maintain this information in a single location, rather than on individual computers. In both education and enterprise environments, directory services are the best way to manage users and computing resources.


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