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When I have to work on my machine in company, I have noticed that I log on to a domain (named on the basis of company name) and not really on that computer. From, what I understand, this has a few advantages, the primary being that I just need one password for the domain and can work through any of the machines in company. My questions are :

What software on desktop/network have to be installed so that the desktop recognizes and gives me option of logging into a domain. I would guess that a software can be installed on desktop, and there we can configure the IP address of domain server of company and port number, which handles authentication. Is this correct? This takes me to another question that how are softwares installed on end machines in a company. Going to each machine physically and installing looks very unweildy from administrator point of view. An obvious solution would be to install softwares (and updates) over network. My question on this are:

What protocols,keywords come into picture when administrator installs OS,softwares,updates from his administrator machine to end machine through network.


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closed as off topic by Jim B, John Gardeniers, pauska, symcbean, Sam Feb 18 '11 at 14:57

Questions on Server Fault are expected to relate to server, networking, or related infrastructure administration within the scope defined by the community. Consider editing the question or leaving comments for improvement if you believe the question can be reworded to fit within the scope. Read more about reopening questions here.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Please read the FAQ and stop posting these off-topic questions. – John Gardeniers Feb 18 '11 at 9:29

Broadly, the answer you are looking for is Active Directory.

Active Directory is installed on (at least one) company server, which is known as a Domain Controller. Active Directory handles users/groups and a whole lot more. It is a very powerful and complex system. You will need to ask something more specific to get a good answer.

Individual desktops are 'bound' to an Active Directory domain. The non-home versions of Windows support this out of the box. You can join the domain manually on each machine using the computer name tab in My Computer Properties or for large organisations, you do it automatically when the desktops are first set up.

Deploying software to each machine is a different question with multiple possible answers. To get you started, look into Group Policy and Microsoft System Center.

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