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Member server

Member server definition

A member server is a computer in a network that belongs to a domain (typically in a Windows Active Directory environment) but does not hold the role of a domain controller. It performs other functions to the domain, like file, print, application, database, or web services. Member servers are highly scalable and organizations can easily add more to accommodate growth or to distribute different roles efficiently.

When you add a server to a domain without configuring it as a domain controller, it becomes a member server. While it recognizes and adheres to the security and account policies of the domain, it does not manage user accounts or authentication for it. They do enjoy the centralized security and account policies while also allowing administrators to manage and maintain security centrally.

See also: domain, domain admin, domain controller

Key characteristics of member server

  • A member server can take on various roles, including file server, mail server, web server, database server, etc.
  • User authentication on a member server is managed by the domain controller. The member server relies on the domain controller to verify if a user has the appropriate permissions to access the server or its resources.
  • Multiple member servers can be added to a domain to distribute various services and roles.