Why Have a Directory Service?
A directory service provides the means to organize and simplify access to resources of a networked computer system. Users and administrators might not know the exact name of the objects they need. However, they might know one or more characteristics of the objects in question. As illustrated in Figure 1-1, they can use a directory service to query the directory for a list of objects that match known characteristics. For example, “Find all color printers on the third floor” queries the directory for all color printer objects that are associated with the third floor characteristic (or maybe a location characteristic that has been set to “third floor”). A directory service makes it possible to find an object based on one or more of its characteristics.
A directory service is both an administration tool and an end user tool. As a network becomes larger, more objects must be managed and the directory service becomes a