Member Server

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What Does Member Server Mean?

Member server is a server role defined by Microsoft Active Directory (AD), a service that runs on the Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003 operating systems. A member server belongs to a domain but is not the domain controller. It can function as a file server, database server, application server, firewall, remote access server and certificate server. The domain controller is responsible for authenticating security requests such as logins and permission checking.


Member servers provide the backbone of services and applications in a domain.

Techopedia Explains Member Server

When a server is connected to an Active Directory domain, it becomes a member server and permits a local logon and a domain logon. Every company has member servers, ranging from just a few to thousands. Member servers are the core production service of the company. They are available in all sizes, and perform a variety of responsibilities and functions.

A member server’s key functions include:

  • Email management
  • Web services
  • Faxing
  • Image management
  • File storage
  • Financial application functions
  • Human resource functions
  • SQL database storage and management

Because member servers house all these essential functionalities, they contribute to the security of the network. The areas that member servers need to protect include user rights, ports, application permissions, services and local security accounts. Most of these areas can easily be configured by ensuring that security configurations are made right. The best tool for configuring the security of member servers in an Active Directory network is the group policy. Member servers adhere to group policy settings defined for site, domain and organizational units.


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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.