CIO.com: Active Directory: 10 Years Old and Thinking Cloudv
Network World — Ten years ago today, Microsoft released its Active Directory technology to skepticism that it could build an infrastructure technology to anchor user management and access control. Now the software is an integral part of nearly every corporate network and stands ready for its next frontier: public and private clouds.
Over the years, Active Directory (AD) has strengthened its shaky legs by improving scalability and flexibility, and adding features such as federation and rights management services. The directory today is part of nearly every task a user performs on a Windows-based network, plus there are tools to include Unix and Linux machines under the access controls in AD, and an army of third-party vendors.Most recently, Microsoft (MSFT) unveiled plans for the Next Generation Active Directory (NGAD), a modular add-on that is built on a database and designed to add querying capabilities and performance never before possible in a directory. NGAD also is a reshaping of the programming model for Active Directory.
But it all started on Feb. 17, 2000, with the official release of Windows 2000, which featured the first ever network directory from Microsoft.
more of the CIO.com article from John Fontana