What is the difference between a Container and an OU in Active Directory?


Johnny asks:

I am new to Active Directory and so I hope you’ll pardon my ignorance. I recently installed an Active Directory on my Windows Server trial edition. I noticed that there were two kinds of containers i.e. containers and organizational units (OUs). I a trying to figure out what the most important difference is between an OU and a Container?

Best answer:

Answer by Sam_MSCE

An Organizational Unit (OU) is a special purpose container, that differs from a regular container in that administrators can apply group policy to an OU, which the system then pushes down to all the computers that reside in the OU. You cannot apply group policy to a container.

In general, you design an OU hierarchy which is based on how you want to have Group Policy flow out to the domain-joined machines in your AD. I could tell you more about it, but this stuff is complicated and needs a lot more knowledge understanding to work with.

I would seriously encourage you to consider getting a good book on Active Directory if you are serious about running it. Active Directory plays an important role in IT and thus should only be configured by someone with sufficient knowledge in it.

Good luck,

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