Welcome to centralized management for the Microsoft Solution for Hosted Messaging and Collaboration version 4.5. This section provides planning and deployment information on using Active Directory to provide a centrally managed and secured hosting platform.

Active Directory is a highly scalable Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) directory service that can be leveraged natively by components included with Microsoft Windows. Active Directory is the heart of the Hosted Messaging and Collaboration centralized management solution, which allows data center personnel to create and manage server and user privileges, authentication, and security far more efficiently than with a local server management implementation. The centralized model reduces operational complexity, improves security, and lowers risk through consistent policy application.