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Good-bye 2015: Final week of year tasks for Active Directory

As administrators, we are the employees that rarely get to take time off work, as someone needs to ensure that the network is up and running. Sure, there is no one in the office, as everyone is taking vacation, but you must still come in and take care of the network. Go ahead and play your games, that is not an issue for me. However, all year you ask, “When am I going to have time to perform the basic duties for Active Directory?” Well, now is a perfect time!

Here are some basics that you should ensure are in place as we leave 2015 and head into 2016.

  1. Make a full backup of Active Directory – You can use the built-in backup or the rock solid backup solution you have in place. No matter what, be sure to include all aspects of Active Directory including DNS, certificates, Group Policy, etc. Having a good, clean backup of Active Directory at the end of the year will give you the confidence that no matter what happens in early 2016, you have a good version of Active Directory you can fall back on. Of course, if you want to be able to restore all of Active Directory, individual objects, or even object property changes (which Microsoft still can’t do!), please download RecoveryManager Plus.

  2. Make a full backup of Group Policy – Yes, I know I just mentioned Group Policy in the Active Directory backup, but I mean backing up the Group Policy Objects in case you need to restore them quickly! Trying to restore Group Policy from Active Directory backups is difficult and time consuming. If you backup Group Policy using the Group Policy Management Console, you can restore any Group Policy Object quickly and easily.

  3. Verify Domain Controller replication – One of the biggest issues related to Active Directory issues is Active Directory and Sysvol replication. A suggestion is to head to the Event Viewer on each domain controller and ensure there are no replication warnings or errors. You can also run Microsoft’s replication status tool and go through their replication troubleshooting steps if you have issues.

  4. Ensure security is in place – I find that most Active Directory admins don’t have time to ensure settings are in place and correct. Therefore, I highly suggest you check the security of your Active Directory, domain controllers, and servers.  You can look at last week’s blog, which gives you some guidelines on some of the most commonly misconfigured security settings. If you want more on security (reporting, analyzing, configuring, monitoring, and alerting), go here for a one-stop-shop on auditing and securing your Active Directory domains and Windows servers.

We at ManageEngine are always trying to help out fellow Active Directory admin and companies that struggle with managing Active Directory. Security is the keystone to ensuring that Active Directory is stable and available, not to mention having good management and monitoring tools. So, quickly get some “work” done, so you can go and enjoy your favorite game with your friends!

This post first appeared on Network Monitoring & Management Software-OpManager, please read the originial post: here

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Good-bye 2015: Final week of year tasks for Active Directory


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