NetPro software aims to ease Active Directory

Directory management vendor NetPro late last month announced 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.

Active Directory and Microsoft Identity Integration Server are two technologies that 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 a number of deployment options for users, 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 released ChangeAuditor 3.0, which tracks in real-time all the changes made to Active Directory. ChangeAuditor is a component of the 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.

The company also announced upgrades to SecurityManager, which monitors directory and file server security configurations and now includes features to correct any problems. Version 2.0 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.

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