Planning a Security Group Strategy

Before you can effectively start working with groups in Windows Server 2003, you need to first understand what groups are and why they are used.A group is a collection of objects (user, group, and/or computer accounts) that are managed as a single object. The objects that belong to the group are known as group members. In Windows, as with many operating systems, groups are used to simplify the administrative process of assigning permissions and rights to multiple user and computer accounts.

A set of default groups is created during the installation ofWindows Server 2003 on a computer. These groups reside in the local SAM database of the stand-alone or member server, and can only be granted rights and permissions on that computer. Domain controllers also have a set of default groups. These groups reside within the Active Directory database structure and can be used throughout the domain.

You aren't limited to using the default groups. Windows Server 2003 allows you to create your own groups both at the SAM and Active Directory database levels. This book deals with Active Directory, so we will assume that you are working in a Windows Server 2003 Active Directory environment when we discuss planning group strategy.

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