It is hard to understand the metaphysics of Active Directory (AD) which includes so many features and components. AD is a directory service which is responsible for coordinating network administration and security management of Windows based systems. AD was first implemented in 1996 and very soon absorbed by other systems because of its numerous benefits. It is the Active Directory only which distinguishes between a normal user and System Administrator. In this blog, we will discuss about the AD components which can be effectively managed with an active directory reporting & management tool.
What are the components that form the AD?
The AD components helps a Network Administrator in executing various jobs i.e. authorizing the users, certifying the users, network management, etc. The AD components can be classified into two types, resources and security enforcements. Every AD component functions independently and haves its own utility.
Forests: The forest resides at the very top level in AD hierarchy. It encapsulates all the attributes and syntax.
Domain (DNS): DNS is the sum total of computer objects linked through policies, users and member databases. The DNS plays a major role in holding the AD database. It creates a copy of every server based activity.
Organizational Units (OU): The Organizational units are combination of various domains. By grouping all the domains and providing a hierarchy for them it makes the network operations easy. An OU also segregates the domains for easy classification. It is also known as holder as it holds the domains. By using the Organizational Units a Network Administrator can deploy administrative and user policies.
Sites: Sites are actually the physical groups defined by IP subnets. This component helps a Network Administrator in identifying the areas of high and low connectivity. Sites help in regulating network traffic and linking clients with DC.
What the experts suggest?
For technically adroit Network Administrators also it becomes very difficult to manage the Active Directory. They can use the Lepide Active Directory Management and Reporting (LADMR) tool for executing the active directory reporting and management operations. The LADMR tool simplifies the cumbersome operations like user management, computer/ server management, OU management and group management.
In Windows environment, Active Directory (AD) refers to a hierarchical directory structure used to store data related to networks and user domains within an organization. An Active Directory structure comprises database units having information about the objects, resources and the services used in an enterprise. Dynamic business needs require implementation of sound Active Directory management services in order to incorporate growth, mergers and divisions of organizations in the internal structure of the AD. These implementations are viewed at three different levels of an Active Directory structure, viz., at the domain, trees and forests.
Active Directory management systems like Lepide Active Directory Management and Reporting tool are efficient in incorporating such changes in the all the three levels of an AD. To keep the AD updated and help administrators handle all the essential tasks, four major aspects are covered, which are as follows:
Merging and restructuring the domains without impacting the users
Quickly recovering the deleted Active Directory objects
Automatically provisioning new users into the directory structure
Enabling control over Active Directory auditing
The above mentioned aspects of Active Directory management can be elaborated in the following paragraph. The task of migrating user accounts, exchange mailboxes and complex clusters from one domain to another is quite a tedious task for administrators. And to further incorporate these restructuring and mergers without actually impacting the user is a bigger challenge. Furthermore, enrolling new users, providing them access rights and assigning them new accounts also require significant amount of planning.
However, executing changes in the AD corresponding to all such developments in the work domains can be made less complex with the help of AD management systems like Lepide Active Directory Management and Reporting. Some of the important real-time issues handled by this Active Directory management tool are mentioned below:
Time utilization and management
Keeping the AD updated
Moving user accounts from one OU to another
Managing printers and printing jobs
Managing personal information of users
Executing tasks related to user account management
Hence, we see, efficient active management system offers optimum solutions for managing administrative tasks on an Active Directory.
A great part of network administration involves management of users, computers, and groups. All these attributes need to be properly maintained so that only authenticated users and computers can logon to the network and only those can access network resources like data, application, printers, etc. This is where user management under Active directory finds its importance. Active directory is an essential part of any organization basically in a large network. More the number of employees or systems, more is the burden over administrators to ensure complete vigilance. However, active directory management tools make it easy through dedicated user management portals.
In the network, user attributes needs to be managed per user basis and involves a great amount of time and effort. This can also involve errors as one is quite prone to commit mistakes while updating such large lists. User management module helps the AD Administrator to perform bulk tasks with simple clicks. Multiple accounts can be handled in one attempt. The tool keeps everything organized and presents data in a sequential order, which can be easily modified. It empowers admin to either monitor users in bulk regarding general attributes or manage single user with greater ease and functionalities.
Bulk user management helps you to unlock multiple user accounts or reset user passwords at a go. You can move, delete or edit user attributes within organizational units. You can also manage groups simultaneously like Add to Group, Remove from Group or Set primary group and manage common attributes for multiple loggers. The same can be maintained for specific users too. You can specify instructions to limit password changes, user account functions and modify general attributes Overall you are empowered to control any user related aspect in the network.
Lepide Active Directory Management and Reporting (LADMR) is one such effective tool to manage Active Directory users easily. It has a dedicated User management section for enhanced user service. LADMR provides more than 50 built in reports on users, computers, groups, security, OUs and other network objects. You can also write complex scripts with a built in interface (query creator) to query active directory and WMI without learning complex scripting languages. The reports can be exported to HTML, CSV, PDF, RTF and TXT formats for further reference. Evaluate the software freely for 30 days but one can’t save the reports from the trial version though.
The most common management tool used to manage Active Directory is the Microsoft Management Console (MMC). Using the MMC interface, administrators create custom console tools to manage the domains, AD objects, OUs, group policies, etc. There are various other management tasks involved apart from these basic functions. There you would need a better, self guided tool like AD manager to assist in day to day activities. Active directory (AD) can be even managed through command lines but the better option is taking aid of administrative tools designed specifically for this purpose.
The tech world is now flooded with various Active Directory management tools. Everyone tries to distinguish it from others with one feature or other but overall serving the same purposes. What exactly is beneficial in your case? Be a critic and scrutinize your network to get hold of the best service available as they all come for a price. One important aspect which I can ensure to prove beneficial is a product with good reporting standards. Every AD tool is set to perform the same tasks with different graphical interfaces and tweaks. Reports are what can make a difference, as after setting the initial parameters, one is not so concerned about the functions but the results.
The results can be availed via good reporting tools. A tool which has the capability to let you have a bird eye view over the complete network can be summoned as a good tool. User management, server management, organizational units and group management are the basic properties of any AD manager. Reports keep it simple to manage thousands of active directory users through its bulk user operation and easy-to-work interface. They provide the data about necessary changes, recent activities or unauthorized activities in the network which in turn helps you to take apt steps to rectify the issues.
Lepide Active Directory Management and Reporting (LADMR) is an efficient AD manager tool. It makes AD management easier and better. It is incorporated with all the above mentioned features and an elaborate reporting functionality. LADMR provides more than 50 built in reports on users, computers, groups, security, OUs and other network objects. You can also write complex scripts with a built in interface (query creator) to query active directory and WMI without learning complex scripting languages. The reports can be exported to HTML, CSV, PDF, RTF and TXT formats for further reference. Evaluate the software freely for 30 days but you can’t save reports with the trial version. For further information, please visit at here : http://www.lepide.com/active-directory-manager/
What do you think about network computer management? Well, it may be very hard to have one clear definition of computer management. But, in general whenever we talk in context of computer management then it primarily refers to the broad subject of managing computer networks. In fact, this computer management features different area that majority includes – security, performance and reliability. While a security protocol ensures that the network remains protected from unauthorized users; reliability is another factor that further ensures that network remain easily available for users in every situation.
Now, situation get worse when you as an IT administrator require managing several computers connected within a network. In fact, there comes a situation where you may require adding computers to different groups for faster and better management. Besides this, you may even come across a circumstance where you may also require managing directory attributes and performing various directory functions of a computer in very simple manner. Adding to this, if we carefully look at the present scenario then it clearly indicates that growing needs to share resources and information has made network computer management a difficult and intricate task that demands good expertise and proper time investment. But, unfortunately in a medium to large network, it has also been observed that computer management eats-up a lot of time of system administrators. Definitely, being one of those network system administrators you just can’t waste your precious time. Nevertheless, now you don’t have to worry as there is an option available in the form a third party computer management that can allow you to manage multiple computers and servers simultaneously and easily.
In fact, if you have been looking for a proper solution that may facilitate you perform various tasks on computers, which are part of workgroup or current domain, then definitely you must opt a computer management software. Lepide Active Directory Management and Reporting software is one such software that can help you increase your workplace competence and advantage in administering computer networks. It allows you manage directory attributes and configure account policy in a most effective manner. Adding to this, this is one such web-based management console that also allows you to extract information from WMI repository in a most effortless manner. Besides this, its interactive GUI eases executing WMI queries and methods. http://www.lepide.com/active-directory-manager/computer-management.html
In Windows Active Directory environment, user, application and OS settings can be managed and configured with the help of Group Policies. Group Policies are basically a set of rules with which administrators can control user accounts, computer accounts and settings for users, desktops, devices, servers and many other resources.
In Active Directory management and reporting system, Group Policies play a vital role in managing the entire network. With proper Group Policy settings it is possible to administer the usage rights and access permissions for each and every object within the AD structure. Group Policies allow administrators to deploy changes, set up steady desktop and server configurations, lock down workstations, control end user access and even control Windows XP firewall.
Group Policy Architecture
Group Policy architecture consists of a client side component and a server side component as explained below:
The client side component also known as the Group Policy client side extension is responsible to interpret and make changes in the Group Policies which are applied to the users or computers.
The server side component is used to configure unique policies and includes the user interface for administrators.
A Globally Unique Identifier (GUID) is assigned to every AD object to identify that object to the operating system.
Troubleshooting Group Policy application in Active Directory
In Active Directory management and reporting, troubleshooting an application on Group Policy is done when it becomes important to validate objects in the Active Directory. Troubleshooting is also required to check that the file structure of each domain controller is correct and the server GPO is replicated in every DC. To carry out this process, administrators use the GUID to identify the GPO in the client side extension. Identification of GPOs with the help of GUID can be done in the following four ways:
Using LDP.EXE from the Windows 2000 Resource Kit
Using Active Directory Replication Monitor from the Windows 2000 Resource Kit
Using the DNS Management MMC Snap-In
Using Search.vbs Microsoft Visual Basic script tool
Group Policies and Third Party Tools
Since troubleshooting and planning is a big challenge while managing GPOs, the Resultant Set of Policy (RSoP) has become a proven tool to tackle such issues. Lepide Active Directory Management and Reporting is a highly useful Active Directory group management application that comes integrated with RSoP planning mode to text the existing GPOs for applied policy setting configurations. The in-built RSoP works as value planning and testing tool, making it easier for administrators to view the newly applied policies effectively.