Active Directory, aka Directory Services, has been updated quite a bit in Windows Server 2012.
Here are some of the major updates:
- Virtualization: Rapid deployment with cloning & safeguarding
- Dynamic Access Control
- DirectAccess Offline Domain Join
- Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS)
- Active Directory Administrative Center Improvements
- PowerShell version 3 commandlets including Active Directory Replication and Topology (Introduction & Advanced Topics)
- Windows PowerShell History Viewer
- Active Directory Recycle Bin User Interface
- Fine-Grained Password Policy User Interface
- Active Directory Based Activation
- Group Managed Service Accounts
- Flexible Authentication Secure Tunneling (FAST) (RFC 6113) adds additional security to Kerberos (also known as Kerberos Armoring) and requires Windows Server 2012 with Windows 8.
- RID Improvements: Protection & Expansion
- Kerberos Constrained Delegation now possible across forests
- Enhanced LDAP logging and new controls
- Deferred Index Creation – DCs can be configured to build indexes at reboot or via LDAP control versus the default: immediate index creation.
- Ability to track DNT usage on Windows Server 2012 DCs using perfmon.