One Windows NT management pitfall is that you need to use a half-dozen different programs to perform different management tasks. Simac Software Products' Network ServaNT 3.2 consolidates NT management functions. This utility consolidates domain, group, user, server, workstation, event, services, share, file, and directory management. In addition, the product lets you manage any NT computer on your network for which you have administrative rights.
Installing the product was easy. After I inserted the CD-ROM, the Autorun feature automatically executed the program's Setup utility. I selected Network ServaNT from the product list, which launched the setup routine. I then supplied my name, company name, and serial number, and the product automatically installed. After installation, I opted to automatically start the program. A system reboot wasn't necessary.
The application has an easy-to-use NT Explorer-like interface. Screen 1 shows a typical Network ServaNT session. The interface consists of three main sections: the menu, a toolbar, and the management window. Although the menu and toolbar provide quick access to common application functions and commands, you use the right mouse button in the management window to perform all your management functions. After you launch the application, the program searches your network for domains and lists them in the management window.
After you select a domain, you can expand it to see the next management level that contains users, groups, workstations, servers, open files, and sessions. You can expand the user portion of the tree to obtain a list of domain users. If you want to add a new user or group to your domain, right-click that heading and select Add from the context menu. You can also drag users from one domain to another. When you add users, groups, or other domain members, the software presents you with a series of dialog boxes with fields that you need to complete (with the same information that you would provide in an NT management program).
During my testing, the product worked extremely well. By expanding the server section of my domain (i.e., IDEA), I performed functions such as administering the shares on my server and adding and deleting users. I easily administered file- and directory-level security by drilling down into the application, then right-clicking the directory I wanted to modify.
The print and export features are particularly helpful. Using either feature from the menu or toolbar, you can print or export all NT-related resource information that the product controls. The product supports exporting data in tab-delimited file formats for easy importing to other applications, such as Microsoft Excel.
Some people might wonder why to invest in Network ServaNT when they already have all the NT management tools they need. The reason is convenience. By consolidating all your management functions into one program, you can more easily manage your systems and save time and resources that you would waste by switching from program to program. Furthermore, the unique way the product presents its information provides a visual and user-friendly environment for management activities.
Network ServaNT has an attractive price. Simac licenses the software based on the number of machines that you need to manage. At the introductory level, you can manage as many as 249 computer systems for $695. If you need to manage more machines, you can upgrade to higher tiers. Simac recently released Network ServaNT 4.0 and offers a free 30-day trial version you can download from the Simac Web site.
|Network ServaNT 3.2|
| Contact: Simac Software Products * 31-348-431636|
Price: Starts at $695
System Requirements: Windows NT Server 3.51 or 4.0 or NT Workstation 3.51 or 4.0