Enterprise Active Directory

Enterprise Active Directory (AD) is a centralized directory service from Microsoft. AD helps simplify and standardize management of Windows systems by holding information and settings about computers, users, and groups in a centralized repository.

At UCSC the Enterprise Active Directory is used to manage users, computers and printers, and to provide Enterprise File Services across campus. 

Features and Benefits

  • Enterprise File Services — AD provides a centralized file service, with single sign-on for Windows computers and users that are part of the Enterprise Active Directory.
  • Printers — Universal print drivers are defined in AD. Windows computers that are members of the Enterprise AD can use these printer definitions without having to map individual printers.
  • Backups — AD is backed up regularly and securely, both on-site and off-site.
  • Physical Security — the servers supporting the AD infrastructure are located in the UCSC and SDSC Data Centers.

ITS uses the Enterprise AD for configuration, management, and security-policy enforcement for the servers managed by the Windows team.

For desktop users, the Windows team works with Local IT Support and Standard Desktop Support.


This is a 24x7 service supported by the Data Center Operations Windows team. Escalation is provided through Data Center Operations and the Windows on-call rotation.

For planned maintenance, the UCSC Data Center follows the ITS Change Management Process, and planned changes are posted on the ITS Maintenance Calendar.

Data Security

The Enterprise Active Directory is appropriate for confidential and most types of restricted data (as defined here).


The Enterprise Active Directory is available to all UCSC faculty and staff.


The Enterprise AD is provided free of charge. ITS covers this cost to encourage departments to use the central service, rather than incurring the costs for a departmental AD service.

Request this Service

Customers may request an account in the Enterprise Active Directory through the ITS Support Center. Most levels of access are provisioned by the Accounts team; requests for highly-sensitive levels of access are escalated to the DCO Windows team for implementation.

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