In Windows 2000, an organizational unit is an Active Directory container object which allows the sysop to logically group like objects, such as users, computers and other organizational units into administrative units.

As an example of the usefulness of an OU, computers in college labs can be organized into different sets. When one needs to change the security settings for one classroom, they're able to just assign the change to one item (the OU) and it gets distributed to all the systems when the computers are turned on in the morning. One assignment, 24 computers updated.

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