Product Reviews

A Few of My Favorite Things: NetPro DirectoryAnalyzer

Compaq knows a thing or two about troubleshooting large networks. Here are some of the utilities and programs it uses most and likes best for Windows 2000.

NetPro’s DirectoryAnalyzer is an essential component of the AD administrator’s toolkit. One of its best features is its enterprise-level view of the environment. Traditionally, native NT management tools—and, to a lesser degree, Win2K tools—have focused on narrow aspects of administration and haven’t performed well tying together enterprise management information. DirectoryAnalyzer takes a high-level approach to monitoring AD, allowing the administrator to troubleshoot problems generally beyond the scope of a single system. For example, DirectoryAnalyzer includes several troubleshooting tools to test connectivity between sites or DCs, which can’t be done easily with native tools. DirectoryAnalyzer can also check for attribute consistency between DCs.

The figure shows the troubleshooting tool that tests connectivity between DCs.

DirectoryAnalyzer
This alert screen tells you if your DCs are talking to each other. (Click image to view larger version.)

DirectoryAnalyzer monitors important AD services like replication, DNS and the various Operations Master functions. It also maintains consistency between DCs, Global Catalogs, domains and sites.

DirectoryAnalyzer continually monitors DCs, polling them regularly for current status and configuration details.

Most operations take place using simple configuration panes for domain, naming context and site alerts. Indicators in the dialog boxes tell you what the default setting for each alert is and whether or not the alert is currently engaged.

The DirectoryAnalyzer interface is built on the same framework as FrontPage or Outlook 2000, with the button bar along the left side and a detail pane that occupies most of the right side of the application. On the downside, the current implementation doesn’t follow the standard MMC framework used for the native Windows administration tools, and there’s no right-click functionality. Building the tool on the MMC framework and including context menus for right-click actions would both improve and standardize the tool.

Despite those drawbacks, DirectoryAnalyzer is still a vital tool and should be included in every enterprise that plans to manage a distributed Win2K environment effectively.

About the Author

Jeff A. Dunkelberger, MCSE, MCT, is a senior consultant from Compaq’s Professional Services’ Windows and Messaging Platforms Practice.

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Reader Comments:

Mon, Jun 15, 2009 Jay Pau, France

I've used this tool for over 5 years. (Bassis -Salaud) The sheer intensity of its power not to mention the statistical density of it's reporting features are just two statements that define this quality tool as a benchmarked hallmark in landmarking Information Technology. The hype stops here!

Sun, Apr 3, 2005 Anonymous Anonymous

LOOKS

Sun, Apr 3, 2005 Anonymous Anonymous

LOOKS GOOD...

Thu, Feb 20, 2003 Anonymous Oakland

So a 10,000 user enterprise only cost $120,000 to implement. Add this to all the other programs required to manage a Microsoft enterprise, well let's hope the CFO is still too stupid to do this.

Mon, Jul 1, 2002 Adam McCalla Lucent Worldwide Services

A good article about a great product. Jeff's article only scratches the surface of this product. I recommend it to all my clients because of how easy it is to get setup and going.

Wed, Oct 3, 2001 Anonymous Anonymous

Easy to install and use and stands on its own unlike Microsoft Operations Manager

Thu, Sep 13, 2001 Anonymous Anonymous

DirectoryAnalyzer Kicks Ass

Wed, Aug 22, 2001 Scott Goldberg California

A "must have" for sure.
I woudl not want to manage AD without it

Wed, Aug 22, 2001 Anonymous Anonymous

Great tool, good review

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