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Making Active Directory Management effective, simple and secure

By Neil Burton

If your organisation is large or complex then Active Directory will be playing a major role in your critical processes.  So Active Directory Management is becoming increasingly important, but, as you know, increasingly challenging too, potentially taking up increasing amounts of your IT team’s valuable time.

In our 20 years’ experience working with large organisations, we’ve found one of the biggest problems is that native tools for Active Directory Management provide only basic functionality and cannot be used efficiently for common tasks.  These include Active Directory automation, role-based security, cross-domain management, web-based administration or audit of changes.

We’re constantly scanning the horizon to discover the next-generation solutions for issues like this.  And in our opinion, a higher-level solution, like Adaxes, is now needed to make Active Directory Management, maintenance and admin simpler, more secure and effective.

Powerful management tools

Adaxes gives you two powerful tools: an Administration Console and an Active Directory Web Interface.  The Console is a desktop application that provides a GUI interface for your Active Directory administrators.  Although it appears similar to Active Directory Users and Computers (ADUC), there are significant extra features for everyday Active Directory management, from bulk operations for 1000s of users to favourites and basket features, from password re-sets to Cross-domain Active Directory management, Active Directory import and export (LDIF, DSML, CSV, HTML, MS Excel).  Easy view and update of AD object properties and mailbox creation for Exchange 2003, 2007, 2010, and 2013 are also included.

Adaxes Web Interface provides a secure access to the Active Directory environment via a standard web browser.  Administrators can use the web interface for comprehensive Active Directory management, Help Desk staff can perform operations like Reset Password or Unlock Account, regular users can search in Active Directory and carry out self-service tasks like updating personal information, changing passwords, etc.  It also cuts out routine and repetitive Active Directory management tasks by offering the option of automated user provisioning, management, and deprovisioning.

You can see all the ways Active Directory Automation frees your IT team to focus on more strategic work here.

Specialised Views of Active Directory Content

It’s not unusual for certain operations to be performed on Active Directory where objects are located in different Organisational Unit or even different AD domains and forests.  To make Active Directory Management simple Adaxes introduces virtual OUs called Business Units that let you collectively manage objects regardless of their location in Active Directory.  For even greater flexibility you can also assign specific automation rules, enforce enterprise standards and delegate administrative responsibilities over members of a Business Unit.

Delegation of Active Directory Management

In our experience delegation of administrative tasks to non-administrative level users another challenge in Active Directory management.  Native Active Directory security model involves a very time-consuming manual maintenance of multiple Access Control Lists (ACLs) across Active Directory and makes it very difficult to control privileges.

Adaxes makes the delegation of Active Directory management tasks more effective, transparent and traceable by providing a role-based access control (RBAC) model.  Permissions are grouped in Security Roles and assigned to users according to their role.  This enables centralised access management across Active Directory, helps you apply the principle of 'least access' and securely and effectively grant and revoke multiple rights for multiple users and groups.  See more here.

Tracking Active Directory Changes

With Adaxes, every operation performed is logged.  So you can track who made a change, when, from which host, etc.  You can also monitor the activities of a specific AD user or see what operations were performed on a specific AD object.

In addition, security sensitive Active Directory changes can be monitored through establishing an approval mechanism.  The approval-based workflow gives you additional control over Active Directory management as critical changes in Active Directory automatically trigger an email alert and need higher level approval, enabling you to react to incorrect or suspicious activities.

Custom Commands for Active Directory Management

Active Directory management frequently involves in-house admin tasks that require multiple steps to complete.  Like when an employee gets promoted, is transferred to a new department or goes off sick for example.  This requires updating properties of the user account, changing membership in AD groups, enabling/disabling the user, sending e-mail notifications.  The list goes on.  Manually performing all these operations can be time-consuming and error-prone, especially if non-technical users are involved in the process.  With Adaxes you can be sure it’s done correctly in a single mouse click.

Scheduled Tasks for Active Directory Management

Adaxes can automatically perform the most typical Active Directory management tasks based on a predefined schedule, from sending password/account expiration notifications to synchronizing Active Directory with external data sources.  If necessary, you can control the execution of Scheduled Tasks via approvals.

Arrange a demo

Our team of technical experts have been helping our clients to optimise their networks and work more efficiently for over 20 year and use all our experience and expertise to provide support every step of the way.  Together with our long-term partner Adaxes, we make it easy for you to decrease administrative costs, increase security, and simplify and centralise the whole process of Active Directory Management.

Arrange a demo today and see how Adaxes can make Active Directory management easier, free up your IT team and take your organisation where it needs to go.


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