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Campus Active Directory

IT Services offers a Microsoft Windows 2008 Active Directory infrastructure for units on campus.

Active Directory is an authentication directory that:

  • Supports enterprise systems (e.g., file and print servers)
  • Provides contact information and scheduling integration
  • Offers mechanisms for centralized desktop management.

There are multiple AD environments in use across MSU. The purpose of the central CampusAD is to migrate all these environments into a single AD forest to provide university-wide benefits.


About 1,900 accounts adopt MSU CampusAD a year. CampusAD is used by IT Services, former AIS Active Directory clients, and other MSU units.

CampusAD is centrally provided. Beginning May 2015, departments are no longer billed for these services. Through joining the CampusAD domain, units may collaborate with others by securely sharing resources with other CampusAD users.

Units, colleges, and departments who choose to adopt CampusAD for their Active Directory services have the ability to manage their own organization unit (OU).

IT Services uses the Quest ActiveRoles Server (ARS) software for management of OUs offers this tool as part of the CampusAD service.


IT Services provides the Active Directory server infrastructure for units, relieving them from having to provide their own support and maintenance of Domain Controllers.

Additionally CampusAD:

  • Reduces overhead costs and resources.
  • Provides a foundation for other services like Campus Exchange.
  • Improves workstation security.
  • Provides business continuity though central backup and restoration services.


CampusAD is a single forest with a single domain that currently supports IT Services and its clients.

Units who participate in the CampusAD service will have a dedicated OU for their unit. If a unit wishes to keep a resource AD within the unit, trusts may be permitted so unit resources can trust accounts in their CampusAD OU.

CampusAD on-way trust process graphic

Graphic of CampusAD single forest domain with optional one-way trusts (PDF)


If interested in the CampusAD service:

Migrate to CampusAD

CampusAD is an affordable solution to supporting a separate AD infrastructure from within your unit.

IT Services subsidizes the cost of setup, migration, and labor and works closely with clients to develop a clear upgrade path and ensure a smooth migration. Legacy domains will be migrated into OUs in the CampusAD domain.

Additional levels of support will be available for those would like OU management and desktop support services. More information on pricing will be available soon.

If a unit wishes to keep a resource AD within the unit, one-way trusts will be permitted so unit resources can trust accounts in your campus AD OU.