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Novell promises improvements to auditing services

Apr 08, 20033 mins
Enterprise Applications

* NetWare 6.5 to include Blue Lance's LT Auditor+

I thought I had finished in last week’s issue talking about the new and improved features that will be included in NetWare 6.5, but even before that newsletter hit your inbox I heard from an old friend with some really exciting news.

If you ask 100 NetWare managers to name the area that they would most like to see improvement, odds are that the majority would mention auditing services. As one fellow said, “Our customers have been demanding better auditing capabilities.” And that fellow happens to be Ed Anderson, Novell’s director of product management. I’ve known Ed for a number of years and I respect his judgment, especially when he’s telling me what’s wrong in NetWare.

Network managers have seemingly always been interested in knowing the comings and goings of their users. They also like to be able to track the use of corporate assets and be able to identify who did what to whatever, each time a file gets moved, a trustee assignment gets changed or a directory object goes missing.

Accounting services in NetWare 3 was a first stab at tracking some of this activity, until someone realized that the network administrators needed to be tracked at least as well as the users. So NetWare 4 saw the introduction of auditing services with the implementation of a new role on the network – the Network Auditor. This wasn’t necessarily a network supervisor – it might not even be an IT person. But only the auditor could read the audit trails and logs to see who was doing what to whatever and when it was occurring. But Auditcon, the facility used to view and control auditing services, was never very user friendly.

In an attempt to both improve the usability of auditing as well as to streamline the auditing process, Novell introduced the Novell Advanced Audit Service (NAAS) with NetWare 6. Not only was this attempt unsuccessful, but NAAS may be the single most excoriated service in NetWare 6. That’s quite an accomplishment.

When users asked me about auditing in a NetWare environment, I always mentioned a product I started using back in my NetWare 3 days, LT Auditor, from Houston’s Blue Lance software. I’ve known Blue Lance’s CEO, Umesh Verma, since he started selling LT Auditor in 1990, but his involvement with auditing and monitoring NetWare goes back even further. LT Auditor is the successor to his first product, LanTight (thus the “LT” in LT Auditor) which was introduced in 1985. That’s almost 20 years slowly tweaking and improving a product that was exceptionally good even 15 years ago. Now you can take advantage of that work.

Umesh, my old friend, and Ed, my newer friend, have jointly announced that NetWare 6.5 will include a new, slim-downed version of LT Auditor called “LT Auditor+ for NetWare Server Edition 1.0” (the software is slimmed down, the name sure isn’t! I’ll call it “LTA Lite”).

LT Auditor+ for NetWare Server Edition 1.0 is, essentially, a single-server version of LT Auditor+, Blue Lance’s current flagship product (see details at It’s limited to a single server, but can be installed on every NetWare 6.5 server you bring up (remember that your NetWare license allows an unlimited number of servers). If you like what you see in LTA Lite there’s an easy upgrade path to the full-blown product that will let you consolidate auditing of your entire network. As Ed said, “By including a version of LT Auditor+ with NetWare, we are providing proven, best of breed, auditing technology for our customers.” I couldn’t agree more, Ed.