NetPro's ChangeAuditor for Active Directory 2.1 gives you a granular view of Active Directory (AD) changes in a well organized, searchable interface. An agent on each domain controller (DC) reports to a Microsoft SQL Server Desktop Engine (MSDE) or SQL Server repository, letting you view all changes from a central console. (Event logs capture only a small subset of that information, and you'd have to search each DC to retrieve it.)
Instead of the built-in reports, I usually used the search interface because it's more specific and just as easy to use. The Who tab searches by the user who made a change. The powerful What tab lets you search by an intuitive set of event classes and find information as specific as individual Group Policy settings and the event logging level on DNS servers. This tab also lets you limit the search to specific organizational units (OUs), sites, or objects. (ChangeAuditor doesn't capture changes to schema extensions.) The When tab filters by the time a change was made. The Where tab finds changes made on specified DCs. You can annotate each change, then use the Why tab to search those notes. ChangeAuditor can alert you through email, SNMP, or Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) when a change occurs that meets your criteria.
Although excellent at what it does, ChangeAuditor ought to do more. If you have a large AD implementation managed by multiple administrators, ChangeAuditor is a great buy that can complement your existing processes. But if you require planning, approval, scheduling, or rollback capabilities, you'll need to purchase additional or alternative products that can provide that support.
|ChangeAuditor for Active Directory 2.1|
Contact: NetPro * 602-346-3600 * 800-998-5090
Price: $12 per AD user
Pros: Detailed, well organized change information; easy-to-use searches and alerts
Cons: Pricy, considering that it doesn't include change planning functionality
Rating: 3 out of 5
Recommendation: A good choice for those who only want insight into AD or who are prepared to augment ChangeAuditor with other products.