Active Directory

On September 14, 2003, the Information Management Systems and Services (IMSS) group - formerly Information Technology Services (ITS) - implemented a domain rename process, in order to allow users to return to specifying ITS as the login domain. For more information regarding accessing IMSS Windows systems, please see the guides linked in the navigation bar.

The IMSS Infrastructure & Operations team has completed migrating its servers and user accounts from a Windows NT domain environment to a Windows 2003 Active Directory environment. A Windows 2003 domain represents a significant improvement over that of a Windows NT domain, providing a more secure, stable and scalable domain infrastructure. Integral to many of these improvements is Active Directory - Microsoft's implementation of a directory service. For more information on Active Directory, please see the Active Directory FAQ.

The users who have been most significantly affected by the change to Windows 2003 and Active Directory, have been those running "older" Windows platforms - such as Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME and Windows NT. In addition, many of the security, stability and other important aspects of Active Directory are unavailable to those platforms. If you are a student, postdoc, faculty or staff member, you may be eligible to upgrade your operating system to Windows XP Professional for free - such an upgrade is covered, under certain restrictions, by Caltech's site license agreement with Microsoft. Please see our list of Software Licensing Packages to see if you qualify.

No additional Client Extension is necessary to use Active Directory services on Windows 2000, Windows XP, or Windows Server 2003 computers. For Windows 9x and Windows NT computers, we have installation and configuration guides for the Active Directory Client Extension (DSClient) linked on the navigation bar, for assistance with connecting to IMSS Active Directory.