Data Store Technical Reference
Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2
In the Active Directory directory service, the data store contains database files and processes that store and manage directory information for users, services, and applications. A copy of the data store runs on each domain controller in the forest. The data store provides access to directory information through a process called the Directory System Agent (DSA). The data store holds directory information in a database file called Ntds.dit. The Active Directory data store is often referred to as the directory.
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