Product Review - LepideAuditor for File Server on Windows Server 2012 & Windows Server 2008 R2 (tr-TR)

Product Review - LepideAuditor for File Server on Windows Server 2012 & Windows Server 2008 R2 (tr-TR)

Product Review

LepideAuditor for File Server


Lepide Auditor for File Server product is developed by Lepide Software, which was founded in 2004. The company has also software tools that help the organizations managing Active Directory, Exchange, File Servers and a range of several products in the area of enterprise-level IT management.

Lepide Auditor for File Server product, centrally track and audit the business-critical file servers in a Windows Server Environment. As an administrator you can securely track the authorized and unauthorized access, changes to the documents in files and folder structure, shares and permissions. Operating system native resources might not provide enough answer to all file server audit requirements. So, in order to provide the 

Highlights of The Product

  • Satisfy the SOX, PCI DSS, and other local government compliance requirements.
  • Audit File servers for in a secure and compliant IT environment
  • More than enough filtering and reporting capabilities
  • Supplying information about forensics of file and folder structure changes
  • Real-time alerting and notification mechanism about unauthorized Access to files and folders structure through several channels
  • Audit changes related to System Access Control lists that was one of the open area.

Let’s give details about the useful, dissatisfied and insufficient features of the product item by item.

Operating System Support

The product work on Windows File Server environments supporting all file servers from Windows 2000 Server to Windows Server 2012. So, this is is a positive and quick adaption.

Database Platform Support

The software create and store the audit config and tracked data in a SQL database. SQL database also supported from SQL Server 2000 to the latest version SQL Server 2012 including Express Edition. So, for small organization, if the company do not have SQL License, SQL Express is the solution for them. Also, if you have an existing SQL database environment, you can store the database on existing platform.

Installation and Uninstallation Part

It is so much easy installing and uninstalling the product. So, like every Windows application by using the Next-Next-Finish way, you install the product and make the startup configuration such as database creation etc.

Management Console

In the first view of console seems easy to work with at least two-three sub level jumping. The product installs an agent on file serves. So, in a big and heavy file-server-usege environment, you should check the load on file servers. From my tests and simulated environment, I haven’t seen ant performance problem about the product.

Application Server

The application server is a Windows-based and supporting from Windows 2000 Server to Windows Server 2012. The application server accepts data posted by the agent, processes it, and sends it to the back-end database to be stored. The application server also provides configuration information to the agents.

Agent

This is the portion of the software that runs on the audited file servers you are monitoring and reports back to the SQL database. The agent supports a variety of operating system platforms.

Virtualization Support

You can install software on physical server platforms or virtualized machines. So, if you have a strategy like virtualize every possible server, the product also support that.

Deployment Scenarios

Lepide Auditor for File Server is designed for any-sized monitored servers. In small IT environment the database server and application server can be installed on the same system, eliminating the need for multiple parts of hardware. Especially, for Microsoft Small Business Server environments, you can select this method.

In addition, consisting of a hundred of monitored file server environments, you can install the database server and application on separate systems to decrease the load and increase the performance.

LDAP Integration

If you have Active Directory domain environment deployed on your network you can integrate authentication between AD and the application console, decreasing administrative effort for management of the software. Also, you can easily add, manage and track the file servers working in active directory domain environment.

Reporting Features

You can generate a number of predefined reports on file server events. Also, reports can be filtered on the basis of different criteria and schedule automatic generation and delivery of reports through email.

Lepide Auditor for File Server allows you to audit “who”, “what”, “where” and “when” information about any modifications made to Windows File Server objects. To do this, object-level File Server auditing must be configured for all File Servers.

I really like the emailed reports, so you can quickly find at a glance what actions have been taken, as shown in above figure. Reports can also be exported to PDF, Word, HTML, CSV, TEXT formats.

The Lepide FileServer Auditor offers total visibility across all file servers with the audit details to review in user-friendly reports, which makes auditing easy.

 Compliance Features

The software provide support to comply with internal and external regulations by maintaining a record of files, folders and permissions that have changed to generate reports for management and auditors.

Auditing Features

The software gives a complete picture of day-to-day activity. Reports show both historical and new values for every change on file servers across the IT infrastructure.

Also, the auditing activity can be fine-grained at object level shown in the following figure.

Pearls and Pitfalls

The Pearls:

  • User Friendly Graphical Interface
  • Support for SQL Express.
  • Flexible rule and policy configuration.
  • Tabular reporting brings quick reports and includes partial efficient filtering features. So, you don’t lost yourself in Event Viewer.
  • Instant notifications through several channels
  • Defining custom reports in the Report Console to provide quick access for common reports.
  • Include and exclude features are very useful.
  • Application can be scaled from small environments to large environments.
  • Virtualization support is a plus. Because some products in this area don’t support virtualized servers.
  • Built-in backup and restore feature is good for recovery.

 The Pitfalls

  • Agent-based tool. So, that can affect the file server performance.
  • Manual agent operations to apply changes to file servers.
  • Rich-client application. It should be in web-based architecture.
  • Reporting is only tabular-model. It is lack of rich graphical reports. It needs improvement for graphical reports.
  • The policy creation process is too long. Sometimes, you can forget the beginning part.
  • The menu style can be in ribbon style like Office. That brings all the actions to the lid.
  • The role-based management for the application should be enhanced.
  • The application should include pre-defined roles such that Auditors, Application Admins, Report Users, Backup Operators, etc.
  • The application should include access-control rules to be linked to audit rules to make correction of wrong actions.
  • The reporting list also can give color to rows including incompliant actions.
  • The application should include built-in file server audit rules to put in use quickly.
  • For multi-administrator usage of software, the product can be contained configuration logging. So, we can easily find who created which rule or policy and when.
  • Other database platform support can be added.

Summary

As a last word about this product review, I give 3 over 5 where the product meet my expectations partially to a degree. The functionality can be passed, however in all aspects of interface, management and rich-reporting feature sets needs improvement.

This review was my first work with Lepide products. So, I emphasized the good and bad points of the product in order to make contribution to improve the next versions. I have worked with an IT colleague’s team during the review process to gather different views, needs, suggestions and complaints. I appreciate to all of my colleagues working in enterprise companies given effort to this work.

Hope to meet you in another review, take care of yourself,


Mesut ALADAG
E-mail : mesutaladag@hotmail.com
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  • Fernando Lugão Veltem edited Original. Comment: added  tr-TR on title

  • Nice article

  • Hi , Thanks for this beautiful knowledge.  I would be testing the tool at my environment . The steps that you concluded must be helpful while testing the tool. Please do update us that is the tool lepide File Server Auditor is capable of sending an alert also or not. In case for instance like if i deleted any of the files and folder at my file server then at that case would i be getting an alert for the same at my mail or just i can view at the report section only.

    And once again thanks for this beautiful article.

    I hope this article helps a lot.

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