Two Winternals tools that assist and simplify Active Directory administration

Insight for Active Directory logs LDAP traffic in a two-paned window

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Active Directory was hailed as a revolutionary new administrative tool when it debuted in Microsoft's Windows 2000 server products. Further refined in Windows Server 2003, there's no doubt Active Directory has changed the way information technology professionals administer networks.

Despite all its benefits including simplified user and resource administration, enhanced security, and improved productivity Active Directory occasionally creates administration nightmares of its own. Several third-party tools exist to help configure and maintain Windows directory services. Winternals includes a pair of such utilities in its Administrator's Pak version 5.0.

Insight for Active Directory assists IT professionals in diagnosing configuration problems and troubleshooting the directory services' interaction with other applications. The utility works by listing the Lightweight Directory Access Protocols (LDAP) calls Active Directory receives from any system within a domain, thereby enabling administrators to track Active Directory activity.

AD Explorer provides a simplified method of locating and changing Active Directory objects and attributes. Using a two-pane window, administrators can find, edit, add and delete Active Directory objects and attributes.

Next, let's explore using Insight for Active Directory to monitor Active Directory use, track applications using Active Directory and assist troubleshooting efforts.

Insight for Active Directory

To run Insight for Active Directory, you need not sit down locally at a server. Insight for Active Directory runs on Windows 2000 operating systems, as well as Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. You must possess Administrator rights to view or log on to systems to operate Insight for Active Directory.

Once Winternals Administrator's Pak is installed on a system, click Start | Programs | Winternals Administrator's Pak and select Insight for Active Directory. The utility will begin logging LDAP traffic, as soon as you specify where logging should occur.

By Erik Eckel

Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president o...