28 Aug, 2013

TNI 2.2.3 (1527): Active Directory update

The new TNI update is here, bringing you some long-awaited Active Directory synchronization features, ubiquitous Unicode support and more. But the first-est thing you’re going to see is:
  • NewNew application icon!
TNI 2 icon After that you’ll inevitably notice other neat things, too. Namely:
  • NewMore Active Directory support: possibility to synchronize users and their data, as well as computers and OU hierarchy, manually or at startup. Users and computers which don’t exist in AD can be optionally removed.
  • NewActive Directory OU structure can be recreated in the storage during domain scan: choose “Duplicate structure” in “Target folder” column.
  • New“Location” and “Description” fields for all assets. Can be retrieved for AD computers or SNMP devices, changed in Properties. Displayed in General information/Inventory.
  • NewPossibility to skip assets that were already scanned recently enough.
  • NewPossibility to loop a scan of a certain scan task.
  • NewPossibility to add custom assets from file containing a list of IP addresses or hostnames.
  • ImprovedFull Unicode support.
  • ImprovedWindows computer scan (increase the percent of scanned computers with default settings).
  • ImprovedOnline state monitoring for assets with dynamic IP addresses became faster.
  • ImprovedOnly 10 basic ports are scanned by default (more friendly to the security software). It’s possible to enable the scan of more ports in the scanner settings.
  • ImprovedScreen reports and table reports do not show hints for text that is fully visible.
  • ImprovedNew folder selection dialogs on Vista+.
  • FixedMenu fonts on Vista+.
  • FixedName resolving via DNS in asset pinger.
  • FixedHints and some text drawing in Windows 2000.
  • + Many other fixes and improvements.
  Right-click the storage root: AD sync and Add assets from list The first new item is simple: give TNI a list of IP addresses or hostnames in a text file, and custom devices with configured network interfaces will be generated for each address. This is available for any group in the storage. The second item deserves a separate heading.

Active Directory synchronization

In a well-designed Active Directory domain, the network is already organized. All computers are contained in nested Organization Units that can be easily represented as folder structure. And that is usually the perfect way to build your storage. So we figured, there’s no point in recreating the structure manually. Now you can right-click the storage root and choose Synchronize with AD. A group will be created for each OU in the current domain, and each PC in the domain will be moved to its rightful place in the infrastructure. Upon rescan, assets will also get Location and Description fields retrieved for them from AD. Placeholders will be created for all devices that are found in the domain but are not yet scanned. You can drop them into the scanner later. This way when you create a new storage and run AD-sync, you see your whole domain in your network tree right away, without scanning anything. Placeholders contain some information from AD: Description, Location and OS name, version and Service Pack. You also get to choose what to do if a previously scanned PC is not found in the domain during synchronization: it can be moved to a separate group or deleted altogether. You can configure TNI to perform synchronization on startup. This way your storage will always reflect your domain perfectly. This and several other switches can be found in Options / General. AD settings Yes, there’s also users synchronization. Users are updated every time you synchronize your storage, or you may sync them separately by going to Edit tab > Users and clicking Synchronize with AD. This retrieves AD users with their names, positions, contact info, etc. and puts it all into your storage for convenient search and reporting.  

Looped scan

This feature does exactly what you’d think. It scans the list of assets over and over again after you launch it. Another thing that doesn’t have to be done manually, right? Looped scan Here’s a quick how-to. First add some tasks to the scanner. Then click Looped scan instead of simple Start scan. You will be asked to enter a time interval between scans, in minutes. Click OK, sit back and watch your assets being refreshed automatically for you.

Please enjoy this update and, as always, feel free to request more features. A lot of ideas come from our customers, and we love implementing them!