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Monitoring & Managing Active Directory®

Level 12

As much as Active Directory (AD) is one of the very highly used applications by IT for customer profile and login access management, it is also a challenging one to manage. Take the example of user account lockouts: if an employee gets locked out from their account – no questions asked – no matter whatever time of the day it is – you’ll have to reset the password and unlock the user account straightaway. And what if this is a frequent problem? Not just this, there can be several other issues involving the performance of AD server. This calls for proactive Active Directory monitoring to help you detect problems before they are reported by your users, and before they impact productivity.

Monitor Active Directory: Avoid Performance Issues

Monitoring AD comprises of many key aspects such as keeping a close watch on the application and service availability, and ensuring various AD performance metrics are kept checked and in line with the accepted thresholds. SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor (SAM) provides intuitive dashboards to monitor the status and performance of AD servers. You can leverage the out-of-the-box AD monitoring templates and component monitors to monitor several aspects of your AD environment including (and not limited to):

  • File Replication Service: Identify failure on a replication link or if there is an issue with the network leading to slow replication rates between websites.
  • LDAP Client Sessions: Monitors the NTDS object counters and the number of clients connected to an LDAP session. It provides statistics and performance metrics for speed and response times of specific sessions.
  • Directory Services: Monitoring critical directory services will makes sure your email and phone contacts are always in-sync.
  • Service Outages: Monitor the domain controllers continuously and prevent service outages. SolarWinds SAM will monitor this within DNS servers and clients, servers and workstations, distributed file systems, inter-site messaging, etc.
  • DNS Server Service: Look for issues in the DNS server related to downtime or performance problems and immediately get notified for taking corrective action.


Manage Active Directory Logs: Automate Issue Remediation

Monitoring Active Directory logs is another crucial part of AD management as this gives a wealth of knowledge about the specific events that caused the AD application or server to fail, and have latency or other issues. Monitoring logs from the domain controller and AD clients on user workstations allow you to get real-time visibility into events such as:

  • Users being added or removed to domain groups
  • User groups being created or removed from the domain controller
  • User account privileges or Group Policy Objects modified or changed
  • Account password being changed or reset

Resetting user account passwords is a hard and cumbersome thing to do every time there is a password issue or account lockout. And it’s best to have an automated process in place to automatically reset passwords when there is an account lockout or unauthorized password change detected from the AD domain controller’s event logs.

SolarWinds Log & Event Manager (LEM) collects log data from your AD servers and user workstations and correlates AD and user activity events in real time to provide insight into AD issues. Additionally LEM provides built-in Active Reponses that can be automated to reset AD passwords and unlock user accounts.

Think of how much time you will save by not having to reset user passwords. Try the combination of SolarWinds SAM and LEM, two powerful solutions to monitor the health of your AD and entire Microsoft® environment and stay ahead of performance and security issues!

Case Study

AD Case Study.png

Level 15


Level 17

Very Educational!

Level 12

Nice !

But would that work on a Linux/Samba 4 AD domain ?

Level 18

good stuff...but I have yet to see a DNS run via AD that works well.  For some reason when managed by the unix teams or network teams it usually seems to be more robust and correct.

Level 14

Well written.

Level 16

Excellent, thank you. AD is so HUGE!!! I've been looking for a guidebook to help me setup monitoring/KPI's/alerting for it all. This blog answers most fo my questions right off the bat.

Level 15

I think is better to monitor event windows.for help.

Level 9

Does this work with Server 2016?