Microsoft's IT Environment Health Scanner is a new diagnostic tool that identifies common Active Directory and network related problems. It performs more than 100 separate checks in these categories: Network Connectivity, Active Directory Subnet Configuration, Active Directory Replication, File Replication and SYSVOL Administration, DNS Verification, Network Adapter Configuration, Domain Controller Health, Network Time Protocol Configuration, Exchange Server Configuration, Network Configuration, and Event Log Entries.
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The IT Health Scanner comes with an easy-to-use wizard. It first checks if updates are available, and then asks for your firewall settings and the subnets you want to scan. In my tiny test network, scanning only took a few seconds. I guess, it will take a little longer in a real network.
The wizard presents the scan results in a small window, but you can create HTML reports. Every problematic configuration has a short description and a link to a Knowledge Base article that explains the problem in more detail.
The tool was developed by the Essential Business Server team, but it is useful for all small- and medium-sized networks. Active Directory is a highly complex system where many things can go wrong. If odd things are happening in your network, then this tool is the first one you should fire up. It also makes sense to scan your network regularly using the IT Health Scanner. Sometimes, everything appears to be all right, but beneath the surface, a faulty configuration could already be seeping through your network.
The IT Health Scanner requires at least Active Directory functional level Windows 2000 native mode.
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(via The Experience Blog)