What Is a Domain?
A domain is a logical area that is created when administrators install a network operating system, such as Windows server 2008, and promote it as a domain controller. When a network operating system is promoted as a domain controller, it enables centralized management for all the client computers in the network that have been added to the domain.
What Is Centralized Management?
Centralized management means that the entire network of computers is controlled and managed by a single system, typically a domain controller. Administrators can configure various policies on the domain controller, which are then enforced on all the client computers simultaneously.
Moreover, when a domain controller is configured, administrators create multiple domain user accounts which can be used to log on to the client computers. This is one-time process that eliminates the requirement of creating user accounts on each client computer individually.
By configuring appropriate group policies on a domain controller, administrators can save their decent amount of time by deploying (automatically installing) various applications on all the client computers in a single go.
By configuring domain controller accordingly, administrators can restrict or allow all users in the organization to perform certain tasks. In order to restrict or allow users, they are not required to configure the settings for each user account individually.
Disadvantages of a Domain
One and only, but the major, disadvantage of having a domain oriented network environment is that it has a single point of failure. This means that if the domain controller fails because of any reason, the entire network goes down, and comes up only when the domain controller starts working properly again.
Considerations before Adding a Computer to Domain
- The client computer must have a unique hostname in the network assigned to it.
- The client computer must have a static IP address assigned to it.
- The client computer must be provided with correct DNS address.
How to Add a Computer to Domain?
To add a Windows 8 computer to domain, steps below must be followed:
- Use the credentials of local administrator account to log on to Windows 8 computer, that is to be added to the domain.
- Click Desktop tile from the Start screen to go to the desktop.
- Once on the desktop screen, click File Explorer icon from the taskbar.
- On the Libraries window, right-click Computer icon from the left pane.
- From the context menu that appears, click Properties.
- On the System window, click Change settings option under Computer name, domain, and work settings section from the right pane.
- On the System Properties box, ensure that Computer Name tab is selected.
- Once the tab is selected, click Change button.
- On the Computer Name/Domain Changes box, click to select Domain radio button under Member of section.
- In the enabled field, specify the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of the domain to which the computer is to be added.
- On the Windows Security box, provide the name and password of the domain administrator or domain user account in the respective fields.
- Once done, click OK button.
- On the displayed welcome message box, click OK.
- Click OK on the next displayed box.
- Back on System Properties box, click Close when done.
- On Microsoft Windows box, click Restart Now button to restart the Windows 8 computer automatically in order to allow the changes to take effect.