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The AGLP (Account, Global, Local, Permission) principle, along with its variations such as AGDLP (Account, Global, Domain Local, Permission) and AGUDLP (Account, Global, Universal, Domain Local, Permission), has been a cornerstone in Microsoft’s recommendations for implementing role-based access controls (RBAC) using nested groups in Active Directory environments. These principles continue to be relevant and useful in modern system administration, especially within Windows domain networks.

In this article:

  1. What is the AGLP Mnemonic?
  2. AGDLP and its Variations
  3. Benefits of AGDLP/AGUDLP
  4. Implementation in Modern Environments
  5. Considerations for Implementation
  6. Conclusion
  7. References

1. What is the AGLP Mnemonic?

AGLP is the mantra for administering a Microsoft Windows Server enterprise-level network: user A ccounts are organized by placing them in G lobal groups, which are then placed into L ocal groups that have appropriate P ermissions and rights assigned to them.

The AGLP mnemonic is a foundational principle in network administration, particularly within the context of Microsoft Windows NT enterprise-level networks. It stands for Accounts, Global groups, Local groups, and Permissions. This mnemonic aids administrators in organizing and managing network access and permissions efficiently.

Concept of AGLP

  • Accounts (A): This represents individual user accounts in the network. These accounts are the starting point for assigning access rights and permissions.
  • Global Groups (G): User accounts are grouped into Global groups based on common characteristics or roles. For instance, all accounts related to the accounting department could be grouped into an “Accounting” global group.
  • Local Groups (L): Global groups are then placed into Local groups within a domain. Local groups define the permissions and access rights for resources like files, printers, and other network services.
  • Permissions (P): Finally, appropriate permissions are assigned to these Local groups. Permissions determine the level of access that members of the group have to network resources.

2. AGDLP and its Variations


AGDLP expands on the AGLP principle by adding an additional layer – Domain Local groups. This approach is particularly effective in single-domain environments.

  • Domain Local Groups (DL): These groups are specific to a domain and are used to assign permissions for resources within that domain. Global groups from any domain can be members of a Domain Local group.
  • Implementation: In practice, user accounts are members of Global groups, which in turn are members of Domain Local groups. The Domain Local groups hold specific permissions for resources, thus simplifying permission management.


AGUDLP is an extension of AGDLP for multi-domain or multi-forest environments and includes Universal groups.

  • Universal Groups (U): These groups are used across multiple domains within a forest. They are ideal for representing roles or access needs that span across different domains.
  • Multi-Domain Use: Universal groups allow for the inclusion of Global groups from various domains, facilitating cross-domain resource access and permissions management.

3. Benefits of AGDLP/AGUDLP

Enhanced Security and Compliance

The AGDLP/AGUDLP framework contributes significantly to network security. By compartmentalizing user access through distinct group layers, it provides a clear structure for permission allocation, reducing the risk of unauthorized access. This compartmentalization is also beneficial for compliance with security standards and audit requirements, as it allows for precise control and tracking of user permissions.

Simplified Administration and Troubleshooting

These structures simplify administrative tasks by centralizing permission management. Instead of individually managing permissions for each user, administrators can modify permissions at the group level, affecting all members simultaneously. This centralization also simplifies troubleshooting processes, as administrators can quickly identify and rectify issues at the group level rather than investigating individual user accounts.

Scalability and Flexibility

AGDLP/AGUDLP is highly scalable, accommodating the growth of an organization’s network without significant restructuring. The flexibility of this model allows for easy adaptation to changes in the organization’s structure, such as the addition of new departments or roles.

4. Implementation in Modern Environments

Integration with Advanced Directory Services

In modern network environments, especially those utilizing Active Directory, AGDLP/AGUDLP integrates seamlessly with directory services. This integration facilitates the management of user accounts and permissions across various domains and forests, making it an ideal choice for large, distributed organizations.

Support for Diverse Network Architectures

These principles are adaptable to a range of network architectures, from single-domain setups to complex multi-domain and multi-forest environments. This adaptability ensures that regardless of the network’s complexity, permissions and access controls can be managed efficiently.

5. Considerations for Implementation

Consistent Group Naming and Management

Developing a clear and consistent naming convention for groups is crucial to maintain organization and prevent confusion. This convention should be intuitive and reflect the role or permission level associated with each group.

Regular Review and Updates

Regularly reviewing and updating group memberships and permissions is vital to ensure they remain aligned with the organization’s current needs and security policies. This practice also helps in promptly addressing any security vulnerabilities that may arise.

Training and Documentation

Proper training for administrators and thorough documentation of the AGDLP/AGUDLP implementation are essential. This ensures that all team members understand the structure and can manage it effectively.

6. Conclusion

The AGDLP and AGUDLP principles provide a robust framework for managing permissions and user access in network environments. Their benefits in security, administration efficiency, scalability, and flexibility make them highly relevant in modern network administration.

Implementing these principles requires careful planning, consistent management, and ongoing oversight to ensure they align with the organization’s evolving needs.

7. References

  1. Books:
    • “Windows Server 2019 Inside Out” by Orin Thomas – Offers in-depth coverage of Windows Server management, including access control and group policies.
    • Mastering Active Directory” by Dishan Francis – Provides comprehensive insights into Active Directory services, with focus on security and access management.
  2. RFCs:
    • RFC 3644 – “Policy Quality of Service (QoS) Information Model” – Discusses policy-based management approaches, relevant to group and access control structures in network environments.
    • RFC 4949 – “Internet Security Glossary, Version 2” – Defines various security-related terms, useful for understanding access control concepts.
  3. Online Resources: