15 Active Directory Management Tools (With Guide)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 2 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Many companies use Active Directory as an important tool to support essential administrative tasks. While Active Directory offers crucial administrative functions, companies can employ third-party software to centralise and protect these complex databases. If you're part of an administrative or IT team, you can benefit from considering the management tools available. In this article, we define what these tools are and discuss 15 effective Active Directory management tools that you can use in your workplace.

Related: 7 Best IT Certifications for a Successful IT Career

What are Active Directory management tools?

Active Directory management tools help administrators to centralise and automate their Active Directory databases and services. Many network administrators use Microsoft Active Directory to collect and manage a database of information. It can tell administrators what each employee has access to, which group each user belongs to and where certain information can flow.

Active Directory management tools can play a key role in making a database simpler and more efficient. These tools can help you decrease manual tasks and increase automation of accounts. They can create greater visibility of networks, improve cybersecurity, undertake more advanced analytics and help you comply with data regulations. They may also assist you in setting up and deactivating accounts and regulating authorisations for each employee.

Related: What Is a System Administrator and What Is Their Role?

15 Active Directory management tools

Here are 15 management tools that can help to make your Active Directory safer and more efficient:

1. SolarWinds Permissions Analyser for Active Directory

This tool allows you to view which individual users or groups have permission to access certain data. For example, in a live networking environment, you can identify which members of a team may have access rights to sensitive data. This program also shows you the reasons why a user may have privileges for certain information. The tool is effective for both small and large Active Directory environments and is relatively easy to use. You can download the SolarWinds Permissions tool for free.

2. XIA Automation

XIA Automation is a web-based network with several Active Directory management features. One key feature is that it helps you save time by automatically provisioning or updating your user accounts and groups. It can provision accounts for Active Directory, Exchange and O365, among others. The XIA platform improves efficiency by allowing you to reset passwords from a mobile device or allow administrators to do it themselves. It also includes a customising feature so that you can design the tool to suit your specific needs.

3. Bulk Password Control

This tool is a targeted service that makes it easier to reset user passwords through a centralised system. Its core feature allows you to change multiple passwords simultaneously. It also includes a password generator to improve the efficiency of password resets. If you want to simplify things further, you can manage passwords in bulk by setting every account to the same code.

It also gives you access to unlock, enable or disable user accounts, making the removal or restructuring of unsuitable accounts simple and quick. The large-scale management focus of this tool makes it ideal for large organisations that employ many users. You can download Bulk Password Control for free.

4. ManageEngine ADAudit Plus

The Audit Plus's focus is to provide auditing capabilities. It allows you to merge pre-configured reports, regularly updated alerts and tracking capabilities to audit your network at all times. It gives you live user activity reports and includes an automated insider threat detection system. This means that you can monitor any inappropriate usage of company resources. With its primary focus on standards compliance, Audit Plus is a useful tool for maintaining industry compliance.

5. ManageEngine ADManager Plus

This is a web-based management system that you can use for Microsoft ecosystems, including Active Directory, 0365 and MS Exchange. It uses a web-based interface that helps you centralise all management and administrative tasks. This means that you can manage all Active Directory objects, groups and users from one location, making management simpler and more efficient. You can also use the software to automate reports on information from users, computers or groups. This tool is easy to navigate but may require some initial training.

Related: How to Become a Business Administrator: A Step-by-Step Guide

6. Adaxes

Adaxes helps administrators to complete routine management functions in a web-based environment. This includes delegating privileges, controlling authorisations and complying with enterprise data regulations. One feature of this system is its ability to run without interfering with your Active Directory environment. For example, if you utilise integrations with Active Directory, such as payroll, the program ensures it doesn't interfere or add any disrupting information. Adaxes also offers cyber-security features, such as communication encryption and secure public access.

7. Z-Hire and Z-Term from Zhono

These tools work together to create an efficient process of account creation and termination. Z-Hire helps administrators speed up the account-creation process. It can automate new user accounts and can create them in bulk through simple scripts and processes. Z-Term helps to deactivate and close old accounts. When an employee leaves an organisation, it disables Active Directory accounts, resets passwords and updates group membership information. These two products are useful for IT managers who are looking to automate user-provisioning.

8. Quest Active Administrator

This software provides troubleshooting and diagnostics for Active Directory domains and domain controllers. Active Administrator helps you manage any potential issues with Active Directory, allowing you to move through your management tasks proactively and with greater efficiency. It provides automated backup and recovery, streamlined group policy management and helpful alerts. The software allows you to use either agent-based or agentless polling methods, which you can place in the domain controllers.

9. Lepide Active Directory Auditor

Lepide Auditor is a protection tool that audits the changes made to configurations and permissions in Microsoft environments. This includes Active Directory, Exchange Server, Group Policy, SWL and SharePoint. It generates detailed reports on any changes made, including who, where and when they made them. It's also available in mobile application forms, so you can monitor all of this information wherever you are and in real-time. You can easily scale the software as your team grows.

Related: What Is Internal Auditing? (With Step-by-Step Guide)

10. NetWrix Inactive User Tracker

This tool flags Active Directory accounts that are no longer in use. It scans for inactive user accounts and can tell you how long an account has been dormant. The NetWrix Inactive Use Tracker displays information like the last login, the account age and the username. By closing unused accounts, you can reduce the risk of outside parties accessing vulnerable data. You may also find it beneficial for auditing purposes, for it shows that you use a proactive approach to record management and cybersecurity.

11. Dameware Remote Everywhere

This cloud-based program is especially useful for fast and remote Active Directory support. As its cloud-based, you can access it almost anywhere as long as you have an internet connection. It provides basic Active Directory support and remote support features. These include advanced encryption, centralised communication and easy reporting. You can also save any recordings of remote activities.

12. Anturis Active Directory Monitor

Anturis is a monitoring tool that collects and analyses Active Directory data, including server and client sessions and authentications per second. This helps teams to identify worrying trends and respond to them before they become systemic issues. Anturis sends alerts via email, SMS and voice call notifications once it detects any unusual network activity. They offer a free version of their software, which allows for five monitors and includes email notifications.

13. Spiceworks AD Management Tool

This management tool provides you with basic functions to manage Activity Directory information and automate certain resources. It can update account properties, deactivate old accounts and reset passwords. It can also manage, link and remove equipment. As IT professionals manage Spiceworks, they offer free support for their management tool. The installation and usage of their tool is straightforward. All of their plans are free to download.

14. Server & Application Monitor

This program allows you to monitor any Windows and Linux applications and infrastructure, including Active Directory. You can use it on-premises, remotely or in the cloud. It provides troubleshooting functions so that you can diagnose replication issues and monitor domain controllers. Server & Application Monitor also allows you to combine many IT tasks within one web interface, making management simpler and more centralised. It includes around 1,200 templates for various IT applications and systems.

15. System Tools Hyena

System Tools Hyena puts all of your Windows systems and Active Directory management in one place. Its graphic user interface is easy to use, helping you better manage your Active Directory infrastructure. It can help you to monitor users, groups, domains, computers and devices. It can also assist with services, printers, sessions, user rights and scheduling processes. They offer a one-month free trial.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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