ENow Active Directory Monitoring & Reporting provides quick, granular visibility into your Active Directory environment so IT pros can proactively mitigate issues before they escalate into major problems for your organization.
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ENow was founded in 2004 by Jay Gundotra with the goal of transforming the chaos and complexity of Microsoft service outages into a simple visual dashboard that delivers actionable insights so that issues can be solved quickly. Jay, a certified and experienced Microsoft solutions administrator, knew firsthand the challenges organizations face when troubleshooting complex technologies like Microsoft Active Directory.

Troubleshooting Active Directory can be a difficult, demanding task for IT pros, as AD issues often go unnoticed until major problems surface days or weeks later. ENow's Active Directory Monitoring & Reporting provides a simple way to thoroughly monitor Active Directory, enabling IT pros to better protect their environment by quickly catching and resolving issues. ENow's customizable One-Look dashboard displays all vital components of Microsoft Active Directory.

Proactive probing

While other Active Directory monitoring solutions will monitor the state of services, reachability of domain controllers, and basic network probing, ENow takes this further with synthetic transactions. Instead of only viewing a service as running and assuming it is healthy, ENow's synthetic transactions actively probe Active Directory for faults and failures across critical Active Directory components, including the following:

  • Domain controller resource usage and services
  • AD replication
  • DNS
  • LSASS and other critical components
  • Expensive LDAP queries and other LDAP metrics

For example, instead of assuming AD replication is healthy by viewing critical services as running, ENow's synthetic transaction places a unique test file in the SYSVOL folder each time it is run and ensures that the file is replicated correctly across the entire Active Directory topology. These proactive tests set ENow apart from the more passive Active Directory monitoring solutions.

ENow provides a "stoplight" dashboard that allows administrators to quickly and easily access Active Directory issues via what ENow calls the "Compass" component. While many monitoring solutions have built-in Active Directory monitoring, digging into root cause issues or pinpointing the exact root causes of Active Directory issues can still be challenging.

ENow helps Active Directory administrators and sysadmins quickly pinpoint underlying issues leading to:

  • Inconsistent Active Directory objects across DCs due to replication issues
  • Logon failures and account lockouts
  • Name resolution and DNS issues
  • Application, account creation, and security policy failure
  • Domain controller failure and application failure
  • AD crashes leading to network downtime

Below is an example of the simple yet powerful ENow dashboard. You get vibrant red error indicators based on which errors are spotted.

ENow stoplight system for visibility into Active Directory issues

ENow stoplight system for visibility into Active Directory issues

Aside from core Active Directory monitoring, it also monitors and proactively checks the following critical components related to your underlying Active Directory environment, including:


  • LDAP port test
  • UDP port verification
  • Global catalog port monitoring
  • DNS domain record verification
  • DNS forest record check


  • Netlogon
  • DHCP
  • DNS and DFS
  • Kerberos Key Distribution Center
  • Manual configuration of additional services

Operating systems

  • Disk space monitoring
  • CPU and memory monitoring
  • System and application logs
  • Windows updates and patches

Monitoring services

I found working with ENow's Active Directory solution to be easy and intuitive. You get the pinpointed information you are looking for on the dashboard. One thing I like about ENow is the "breadcrumb" trail it provides with environmental errors. So you can continue to "drill" into the tiles that show errors.

Below is a look at the ENow dashboard after stopping the NTDS service on the PDC in the environment.

After stopping the DFS replication service on the PDC

After stopping the DFS replication service on the PDC

As you click each red tile, you will continue to uncover details about the identified issues. For example, after clicking into the red tile for services, ENow provides a rich dashboard of more detailed information, showing exactly which services are in error.

I glanced at the services and saw that the Active Directory Domain Services (NTDS) was stopped. This service affects all the other services in the error state.

Breadcrumb trail leads to the error listed for a domain controller

Breadcrumb trail leads to the error listed for a domain controller

Monitoring AD replication

Many admins may cringe thinking about monitoring or troubleshooting AD replication. However, ENow makes the visibility of AD replication issues straightforward. It gives detailed visibility into the exact AD partitions replicated between the domain controllers. Therefore, if there are issues, you can not only see there is a general issue with AD replication, but you can also pinpoint the exact AD partition that has issues, in addition to other underlying problems contributing to replication errors.

As mentioned earlier, ENow uses synthetic testing in addition to static checks on services to ensure replication does not just appear to be working, but is, in fact, working as designed.

Viewing the status of AD replication for domain controllers using ENow

Viewing the status of AD replication for domain controllers using ENow

AD reporting

One of the great features of ENow Active Directory Monitoring & Reporting is its ability to create detailed reports for the environment, allowing administrators to keep track of Active Directory information for auditing and proactive management of the environment. To access the reports section, click the Reports menu option on the top ribbon of the interface.

Navigating to the reports section of ENow

Navigating to the reports section of ENow

There are dozens of built-in Active Directory reports, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • AD Disabled Accounts
  • Expired Users
  • Recently Expired Users
  • Users That Never Expire
  • Inactive User Logons
  • Domain Controller Authentication Activity
  • FSMO Role Holders
  • Sites
  • Subnets
Active Directory Reports in ENow Active Directory Monitoring Reporting

Active Directory Reports in ENow Active Directory Monitoring Reporting

Below is an example of the Users That Never Expire report. It displays all user accounts in the environment set to not expire.

Viewing the Users That Never Expire report

Viewing the Users That Never Expire report

ENow enables you to customize the columns and information you want to use for filtering in the provided reports.

Filtering ENow reporting information

Filtering ENow reporting information

Wrapping up

Many Active Directory issues may not arise initially, but can appear days or weeks after a failure. With ENow Active Directory Monitoring & Reporting you gain visibility into the inner workings of Active Directory with a simple yet powerful interface. In addition, with the proactive testing provided by ENow, organizations can quickly understand whether there is an issue with Active Directory, not days or weeks later.

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Many of the features, capabilities, and enhancements were developed as a result of feedback from ENow's customer base, leading to aggressive release cycles. This is excellent for those who may need additional functionality for their specific use cases. ENow's platform is trusted and relied upon by many large enterprise organizations, such as NBCUniversal, National Basketball Association, Coca-Cola, Wendy's, BlackRock, National General, and more.


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