There are a number of Windows features used in the enterprise that are quite different than what you would use at home. In this video, you’ll learn about Windows Domain Services, file and disk encryption, file cacheing across the WAN, and more.
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If you’re running Windows at work, then you’re probably using some features that you don’t use at home. In this video, we’ll look at some of these features used in the enterprise.
There are a number of challenges you have in the workplace that you don’t see in the home. One of these is that the IT department has to support tens, hundreds, or even thousands of devices running on the network. You also have security concerns with these operating systems and making sure that all of the data in your enterprise stays safe. There might also be a wide variety of purposes for these operating systems. The accounting department may need to use their spreadsheets, but the marketing department may need to be able to play videos.
You also have the challenge that not all of these systems may be in the same building. There may be users spread in other parts of the country or other parts of the world. And you need some way to manage data that’s traveling between these very slow Wide Area Network connections.
One of the primary features that allows Windows to excel in the enterprise is a centralized database called Active Directory. This Active Directory database contains information about all of your users, all of the computers that they use, and all the systems that they connect to. In most enterprises, there’s a large number of devices, many different servers, many different workstations and printers, and you have to have some way to manage all of that information from one central resource. That’s the Active Directory database in Microsoft Windows.
Everything that you would need to manage is in this central database– all of your user account information, the list of all of your servers, all of your workstations and laptops. And this allows you to not only administer this from one location, but also use this for authentication. People’s usernames and passwords are stored in this database. And because all of the information about the devices is in this database, you can use this for centralized management as well.
An organization’s data is their most important asset. And there are a number of features in Microsoft Windows that can help keep that information confidential. Two of those features are BitLocker and EFS, or Encrypting File System.
The Encrypting File System is built into Windows using the NTFS file system. This allows the user to choose a folder or a series of files to be able to encrypt so that if somebody does come across those files, they won’t be able to see anything that’s inside of them. BitLocker takes this idea of encryption one step further and encrypts the entire storage device. This means that your operating system, your applications, and all of your files will be encrypted. If someone does happen to gain access to your hard drive or your SSD that contains all of these BitLocker protected files, they won’t be able to gain access to any of that data.
These encryption methods allow you to protect the data, especially if someone uses a laptop at work and then takes that laptop with them at home. Any time the data leaves your building, there is always a concern that someone may gain access. But using BitLocker and EFS, you know that all of that data is going to be encrypted.
Microsoft Media Center is a centralized portal to be able to watch television shows, watch movies, or listen to music. It’s designed to be used along with your television and the television tuner. And it can record shows for you when you’re not home or play DVDs on demand. As the center of your home entertainment center, Microsoft’s Media Center is designed to give you access to all of that media on demand whenever you’d like. Unfortunately, this feature was discontinued with Windows 10, although Microsoft Media Center is still available in earlier versions of Windows.
Windows gives you a lot of options for customizing the desktop that you use every day. If you’re at work, there may be a standard desktop that’s used. And the administrators of your system may have locked down the desktop so you’re not able to make a lot of changes to the configuration. But because this is integrated with Active Directory, you can log into anyone’s computer and all of your settings and desktop configurations will follow you, no matter where you log in.
On your home computer, of course, you don’t have any of these restrictions. You can add a background photo, change the colors on your desktop, or make any other configuration change you’d like.