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A review of AD monitoring tools from the Resource Kit

A review of free monitoring tools available from the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit.

All too often you may find yourself seeking a special tool to perform a specific task and come up lacking. Often, we start seeking a suitable tool by looking for commercial software. As my budget has tightened and moneys directed to other aspects of the organization, I've re-discovered the benefits of free or low-costs tools. One great source of such tools and utilities is the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit.

I've not seen much in the way of discussion nor advertising about this most recent RK for the latest and greatest version of the Windows server product. But you should take the time to examine it for yourself. I doubt you'll be disappointed. More than likely, you'll be putting in an order to obtain your own. Plus, don't forget you can download the entire tool set from the Resource Kit for free directly from Microsoft.

Here is a quick list of the AD specific tools in the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit and a short blurb describing its use or purpose. Hopefully, this quick hit list will encourage you to check out the entire collection!

Adlb.exe: Active Directory Load Balancing - This tool is used to balance the connection objects among AD site bridgehead servers. This tool also enables staggered scheduling of replication times on bridgehead servers. This tool will improve the efficiency of replication.

Checkrepl.vbs: Check Replication - This tool is used to monitor the action of replication and details the replication topology of the target DC.

Dumpfsmos.cmd: Dump FSMO Roles - This tool displays the servers in a domain and forest that host the FSMO roles.

FrsFlags: File Replication Service Flags - This tool manages the Install Override feature of FRS (File Replication Service).

Ifmember.exe: User Membership Tool - This tool checks a user account's membership in a specific group.

Lbridge.cmd: LBridge - This tool is used to manage file replication of domain controllers in mixed-mode AD networks.

Moveuser.exe: Move User - This tool is used to manage the security assignments of a user profile folder hierarchy so it can be re-assigned to a different account.

Queryad.vbs: Query Active Directory - This tool is used submit queries to AD directly.

Rcontrolad.exe: Active Directory Remote Control Add-On - This tool is used to open a Remote Desktop session from AD MMS snap-ins to remote Windows Server 2003 or Windows XP systems.

Sonar.exe: FRS Status Viewer - This tool is used to watch statistics and status of an FRS replica set.

I'm sure at least one of these tools has piqued your interest. So, go grab the free RK tool download and integrate these FREE solutions into your environment.

James Michael Stewart is a partner and researcher for ITinfopros, a technology-focused writing and training organization.

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