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NetPro software to ease Active Directory management

Mar 28, 20063 mins
Access ControlAsset Management SoftwareEnterprise Applications

NetPro software helps manage Microsoft Active Directory and other infrastructure components.

LAS VEGAS – Directory management vendor NetPro opened its fifth annual Directory Experts Conference Monday with upgrades to its software that move it into the realm of managing and monitoring not only Active Directory but also other critical infrastructure components that rely on the directory.

With more than 500 attendees, NetPro is hosting a three-day dive into the guts of Active Directory and Microsoft Identity Integration Server. Those two technologies help form the foundation of Microsoft’s identity and access management strategy, which is pitted against similar efforts from IBM, Novell, Sun and Oracle.

Microsoft is branding a range of products and capabilities, including domain services and rights management, with the Active Directory name and creating for users a number of deployment options based on specific needs.

The next version of Windows Server, code-named Longhorn, is being built in a modular fashion. It will include a foundation called the Server Core, which can be augmented with various features to tightly control the server’s functionality. Microsoft plans to use that technology to ensure corporations can roll out specialized and secure directory and identity services.

NetPro plans to expand its focus on managing core directory operations, which will support identity capabilities and compliance efforts, to include other pieces of the Microsoft infrastructure that rely on Active Directory such as Exchange and file servers.

NetPro Monday released ChangeAuditor 3.0, which tracks in real-time all the changes made to Active Directory. ChangeAuditor is one component of NetPro’s Security and Compliance Suite (SCS), which also includes ChangeManager and SecurityManager.

With ChangeAuditor 3.0, NetPro has expanded the capabilities of its Active Directory base pack to include additional compliance reporting tools and integrated support for SQL Reporting Services for analyzing data collected by ChangeAuditor.

“This starts to broaden our footprint to include compliance reporting and alerting capabilities in the high-use areas of the Microsoft infrastructure,” says Mark Armstrong, CIO and vice president of technology solutions for NetPro. Armstrong says future versions of the software will include monitoring for SQL Server and SharePoint Server.

On March 31, the company plans to ship upgrades to SecurityManager, which monitors directory and file server security configurations and now includes features to correct any problems that are discovered. The new 2.0 version of the software includes policies that govern object locking, group membership, separation of duties and external trusts. Users can run “what if” scenarios to gauge the security impact on their networks.

NetPro also is shipping DirectoryAnalyzer 4.5, which monitors and maintains the health and performance of Active Directory. The 4.5 version includes integration with Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) that includes a single console for managing the health of Active Directory. DirectoryAnalyzer can now process alerts coming from MOM and can send data to MOM.

The Directory Experts Conference runs through Wednesday.