Active directory database NTDS -New technology directory service
Active Directory data is stored in the Ntds.ditESE database file. Two copies of Ntds.ditare present in separate locations on a given domain controller: %SystemRoot%\NTDS\Ntds.ditThis file stores the database that is in use on the domain controller.
NTDS.DIT is directory data base NTDS.LOG is system data base.
The ntds.dit file is the heart of Active Directory including user accounts. Active Directory's database engine is the Extensible Storage Engine (ESE) which is based on the Jet database used by Exchange 5.5 and WINS. The ESE has the capability to grow to 16 terabytes which would be large enough for 10 million objects. Back to the real world. Only the Jet database cans manipulate information within the AD datastore.
The Active Directory ESE database, NTDS.DIT, consists of the following tables: · Schema table the types of objects that can be created in the Active Directory, relationships between them, and the optional and mandatory attributes on each type of object. This table is fairly static and much smaller than the data table. · Link table contains linked attributes, which contain values referring to other objects in the Active Directory. Take the Member Of attribute on a user object. That attribute contains values that reference groups to which the user belongs. This is also far smaller than the data table. · Data table users, groups, application-specific data, and any other data stored in the Active Directory. The data table can be thought of as having rows where each row represents an instance of an object such as a user, and columns where each column represents an attribute in the schema such as Given Name. From a different perspective, Active Directory has three types of data Schema information this partition contains the rules that define how objects are created within a forest. The schema partition is replicated to all domain controllers in the forest.
Configuration information This partition contains information about the logical structure of Active Directory for the entire forest, including the structure and use of domains, trees, sites, and trust relationships within the forest. The configuration partition is replicated to all domain controllers in the forest.
Domain information This partition contains complete, detailed information about every object in the domain. The domain partition is replicated only to the domain controllers within this domain
And its not stored in Sysvol....... in fact its stored in : %SystemRoot%\ntds\NTDS.DIT