What is Active Directory and how to use it with Pandora FMS?
As you may already know, in this blog, we’re so into answering the big questions. After answering in previous episodes what the meaning of our existence is or explaining everything you need to know about Office 365 Monitoring, in today’s episode we are going to discuss what Active Directory is. I hope you are very comfortable sitting in your respective gamer chairs or in your two-seater sofas, because here we go!
What is Active Directory?
Active Directory is a tool that provides directory services, which entails many benefits in the business sector. Many companies have a large number of employees, they need a connected device to do their work, and there we have Active Directory, with it we can build a network of devices for users or employees.
How to collect information on user and service monitoring with Active Directory?
We already know that obtaining information is a very important section of monitoring. All these data can be very useful for us to see the status of something, find a possible problem or simply improve a certain system. Active Discovery is a process by which information can be collected while managing everything in a very simple way. We will be able to see what we need from a single computer, which will make the task much easier, since we will not have to act on each of the devices. In this article, we are going to give you the guidelines to configure Active Discovery and be able to use it.
What are the benefits of using Active Directory?
- It is focused on professional and business use. It allows you to manage everything easily and without having to intervene in the computers of each user, which saves a lot of time.
- Store data in real time. With data related to users and their authentication.
- User authentication. If everything’s ok, the user’s information will reach the computer. This means that if one computer breaks down, you will be able to access it from another with authentication.
- Easily manage all servers and applications, ensuring that everything runs at peak performance.
- Prevention of replication errors. To verify that all replications are being performed optimally. Active Directory monitoring is essential, since you will obtain accurate information from them.
- Obtaining information from remote sites and much more…
And here Pandora FMS comes into play
It is our standard: One of the principles of Pandora FMS is its flexibility. It is highly configurable and by using plugins you will be able to do almost anything in terms of monitoring. Making use of Active Directory in Pandora FMS is quite simple. You can use a specific plugin with which to collect different types of data. Like, for example, the number of users connected or inactive to be able to see them from the console. The data you may obtain is easily configurable from a simple txt, which will be the configuration file. The plugin can be found at the following link: https://pandorafms.com/library/active-directory/ Once downloaded, install it on the console. This short and simple process that will offer you great advantages will be explained below.
What is needed for the plugin to work?
- Powershell v3.0 or higher.
- Active Directory Powershell Module.
- Repadmin. The plugin needs a configuration file that will be divided into the following blocks and will be called “adparams.txt” :
- In user, you can choose whether to see the full list of all users or one in particular. In unused, a list of users that have not been used for at least two months. 1 to enable it and 0 to disable it.
- Spn allows you to see spn suffixes. 1 to enable and 0 to disable, as in the previous point.
- Upn allows you to see spn suffixes. 1 to enable and 0 to disable.
- You may also add the test block, which retrieves the information from the AD diagnostic tests that the dcdiag tool returns. 1 to enable and 0 to disable. Example: #tests Tests = 0
- We can run the plugin manually, calling executable.exe, writing the following output through the powershell terminal:
- It is recommended to save the file in pandora_agent/util.
- In the remote configuration of the agent that we have installed, add the following:
- When the interval goes by, modules collected by the users of Active Discovery, the connectivity, the status of the service or the suffixes spn and upn will be obtained.
Execution from the web console
To be able to run it from the console, the plugin will be distributed through collections. In configuration -> collections, create a collection, it will be named “Active Directory plugin” and short name “Ad_plugin”, in the following image you can see the process.
Go to files after creating the collection :
Click on “Upload Files”:
And upload the executable of the plugin and the configuration file that we created previously, then return to the previous menu and click “Create a file again” and later “Update”. In the agent where you want to use the plugin, go to the collections section and add it:
Next, go to “Agent plugins” and add the route with the plugin execution. In this case, as it is by means of collections, they will be created in the software agent installation path.
The path by default would be the view in the image (2).
Modules generated by the plugin
These will be the modules returned by a standard run.
- AD Users
- Unused AD User
- AD Schema Master
- AD Root Domain
- AD Forest Domains
- AD Computer DNS Host Name
- AD Global Catalogs
- AD SPN suffixes
- AD UPN suffixes
- Replication admin
- Service DNS status
- Service DFS Replication status
- Service Kerberos Key Distribution Center status
- Service Active Directory Domain Services status
- Test Advertising status
- Test FrsEvent status
- Test SysVolCheck status
- Test KccEvent status
- Test KnowsOfRoleHolders status
- Test MachineAccount status
- Test NCSecDesc status
- Test Netlogons status
- Test ObjectsReplicated status
- Test Replication status
- Test RidManager status
- Test Services status
- Test SystemLog status
- Test VerifyReferences status
Service NetLogon status
- Service Intersite Messaging status
And this is how they would look like in the created agent:
And, up to here that would be everything required to be able to make the plugin work. It was easy, huh? I hope many things in this life, but above all I hope this article was useful, especially to help you understand better Active Directory and how to use it in such a simple way in Pandora FMS. I will not take anymore of your time, indeed, I say goodbye, not before, of course, encouraging you to read other articles on the blog that may be to your liking and taste.
About Version 2 Limited
Version 2 Limited is one of the most dynamic IT companies in Asia. The company develops and distributes IT products for Internet and IP-based networks, including communication systems, Internet software, security, network, and media products. Through an extensive network of channels, point of sales, resellers, and partnership companies, Version 2 Limited offers quality products and services which are highly acclaimed in the market. Its customers cover a wide spectrum which include Global 1000 enterprises, regional listed companies, public utilities, Government, a vast number of successful SMEs, and consumers in various Asian cities.
Pandora FMS is a business oriented on-premise monitoring software. It started from scratch in 2004 under open source license GPL2 as a personal project of its CEO and founder, Sancho Lerena; since then it has evolved, becoming a monitoring suite for companies, crossing borders and languages and offering one of the most complete solutions on the market.
Flexibility has been one of the main features of Pandora FMS since its creation; hence its acronym: F for “Flexible”, M for “Monitoring” and S for “Software”.
Pandora FMS goal is to offer an integrated and horizontal monitoring solution for companies, capable of combining information from different sources and departments to offer a single control board of the whole technology of the company, at all levels.
Our main sales office is located in Miami (USA), and our core development team is in our office in Spain. We have partners all around Europe, Asia and South America, and clients in more than 40 countries.