The Source of Truth

Active Directory is a well-known, highly used, highly reliable, and powerful directory service that is for most organisations now the primary source of truth for user and device identity. Since the introduction of Active Directory by Microsoft in 2000, organizations around the world have implemented it to be the standard for management of their Windows infrastructure. Since its introduction we have seen revolutionary changes and improvements to Active Directory which have made the management of all aspects of the environment easier and more reliable. However, there are still important capabilities that are limited or lacking within our Active Directory installations and the associated tools. Examples being - the tracking of changes, the ability to easily audit Active Directory, and the ability to seamlessly rollback objects that are deleted from the Active Directory infrastructure.

Auditing and Reporting in Today’s Active Directory Environment

From a management standpoint, it’s important to have the ability to monitor and know what is going on inside Active Directory. Doing this through the use of reports and auditing is imperative because it reduces resources and in turn allows us to do more with the same. We need to have “help” to aide us with insights into complex areas that we can’t see with the naked eye and this knowledge is necessary to maintain a stable and standardized system. Every minute that we are tracking down a problem and trying to solve that problem is a minute that we are taking away from being productive and being focussed on higher value tasks. Business Management expect that IT Teams have information about nearly every aspect of everyday network administration such as management of users, groups, desktops, servers, files, folders, applications, and much more at their fingertips.

Time is of the essence

The need to move quickly and precisely when working with Active Directory is essential for the network administrator. When disaster strikes and the Active Directory administrator has a need to fix an issue where an object or objects were modified or deleted, time is of the essence. Discovering what was modified or deleted can be expedited by an excellent audit log and reporting tool. A report should be able to quickly and accurately display the most recent changes so that the administrator can rapidly analyse what was altered to fix the problem. After discovering what was modified or deleted, the administrator must then have the tools and ability to quickly restore the object(s) to the exact configuration before the modification or deletion. The administrator does not have time to reboot a domain controller into a special mode, launch tools that are rarely used, and try to unravel syntax that is rarely if ever used except for in these situations.

Need to know

The need to know everything that changes in the Active Directory is essential. The need to be able to take a modified or deleted object and restore it quickly is also essential. To have these two systems separated causes delays, inaccuracies, and loss of productivity. A well-managed Active Directory environment should integrate these two concepts into one interface to expedite and solidify the correctness of the change and recovery of the object(s) back into the production Active Directory environment.

To understand how the Beyond Trust PowerBroker auditor tools assist organisations stay informed about their Microsoft Active Directory, Exchange, SQL and File System environments contact sales@mpa.co.nz

You can also download a free trial of PowerBroker Auditor for Active Directory products at: http://www.beyondtrust.com/Home/FreeTrials

Sameer Shaikh -
Consultant  

Sameer has over 7 years of experience in sales and customer service roles in the financial, wholesale trade and retail sector in India, UAE, United Kingdom and New Zealand.

At MPA Sameer is applying his expertise in customer management and business development to maintain existing business relationships as well as developing new business opportunities.

He also shares responsibility in the sales and purchase order entry and logistics areas.

Sameer has a Bachelor of Science degree.


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