Windows administrators typically use a group of specific utilities to perform their day-to-day system operations. For instance, to add a new user to an Active Directory domain, they use Active Directory Users And Computers. They modify the registry with RegEdit or Regedt32. They manage Microsoft Exchange with the Exchange System Manager. And they use specialized administrative utilities for services and performance monitoring.

At times, juggling all of these tools can be a hassle. Wouldn’t life be easier if you could use a single utility to combine these functions? Hyena does just that.

Laughing all the way to the bank
With Hyena 5.0, you can conduct almost any Windows administration task on any server from a single location using one application. User, printer, group, event, task, file management, and more are handled using the Hyena interface. All this, plus a reasonable licensing scheme, makes Hyena a valuable utility for Windows networks.

Hyena is licensed per administrator rather than per user or per managed client. The price runs from $199 for a single administrator running the Standard Edition of Hyena to $12,149 for 100 administrators running the Enterprise Edition. The main difference between the Standard and Enterprise Editions is the ability to manage Exchange resources and Terminal Server user settings.

Downloading and installing Hyena
Hyena 5.0 is available for a 30-day trial via download from the Hyena Web site. It runs on any Windows NT-based client (NT, 2000, XP, 2003) and can be used to manage any NT-based version of Windows all the way back to Windows NT 3.51 and including Windows Server 2003.

To install Hyena, open the downloaded zip archive and execute the Setup.exe file located inside it. Choosing a default installation will result in the program being installed to C:\Program Files\Hyena.

Using Hyena
To run Hyena, go to Start | Programs | Hyena. As you can see in Figure A, I have Hyena installed on a Windows 2000 Server named Ralph on my test network. It also contains a Windows Server 2003 system, two Windows XP Professional workstations, and a Windows 2000 Professional workstation. The Ralph system is the domain controller for the E2K3 domain.

Figure A
Hyena is running on the system named Ralph.

To see how much Hyena can handle, I’ll start by focusing on the local system. Expanding the Ralph entry results in a number of serviceable entries, including disks, local connections, services, scheduled jobs, and events, as shown in Figure B. Notice the expanded Services option, which provides a list of services that can be managed.

Figure B
Hyena can handle a whole host of services.

Right-clicking on any machine in Hyena and choosing Properties from the shortcut menu provides a variety of information about that system (Figure C). This information isn’t as easily gathered using other Windows utilities. For example, perhaps you want to know if a particular machine is acting in a browser role for the domain or workgroup. In Figure C, you can see that besides being a domain controller, Ralph is also a time source and the master browser for the domain.

Figure C
What is your server doing today?

What else can it do?
Hyena is well equipped to handle almost any regular Windows administrative task. However, it can also help you with other tasks, such as remotely shutting down a selected machine, removing it from the domain, or initiating a VNC-based remote control session to the system. Figure D will give you an idea of Hyena’s capabilities.

Figure D
Hyena can be used for more than just standard Windows admin tasks.

Hyena can also handle remote registry changes. Figure E shows the contents of the Run registry key on a remote workstation named Amy, which is running Windows 2000 Professional.

Figure E
Hyena can also remotely manage the registry.

Check it out for free
Hyena eliminates the need to keep links and/or icons to frequently used utilities. It can handle a ton of Windows administrative tasks and provide some additional bells and whistles to help manage a network. Installing Hyena using the 30-day trial, and testing its effectiveness is the best way to understand how useful it can be.