Today Microsoft released the IT Environment Health Scanner (V. 6.0.5700.44) for small to medium sized businesses. To install you will need to know the IP address of your primary firewall, subnet mask, and Windows Domain Admin rights (and Exchange Server rights if you have Exchange in your environment.) The download is Freeware, so I encourage any system admin out there to grab a copy and give it a whirl.
Overall the install was very simple, and within about 30 seconds after downloading the tool I had the scanner running gathering information on the following areas:
- Network Connectivity
- Active Directory Site Configuration
- 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
- Event Log Entries
The Health Check runs about 100 separate checks and provides a detailed HTML report on its findings including Links to KB Articles on issues it finds. My scan took about 5 minutes to run and thankfully only found about five issues.
According to the release notes (below), the tools was designed for up to 20 servers and up to 500 client computers. My home network has just a fraction of that, so if anyone runs this in a large environment, I would love to hear from you on how it performed.
The Microsoft IT Environment Health Scanner is a diagnostic tool that is designed for administrators of small or medium-sized networks (recommended up to 20 servers and up to 500 client computers) who want to assess the overall health of their network infrastructure. The tool identifies common problems that can prevent your network environment from functioning properly as well as problems that can interfere with infrastructure upgrades, deployments, and migration.
When run from a computer with the proper network access, the tool takes a few minutes to scan your IT environment, perform more than 100 separate checks, and collect and analyze information about the following:
- Configuration of sites and subnets in Active Directory
- Replication of Active Directory, the file system, and SYSVOL shared folders
- Name resolution by the Domain Name System (DNS)
- Configuration of the network adapters of all domain controllers, DNS servers, and e-mail servers running Microsoft Exchange Server
- Health of the domain controllers
- Configuration of the Network Time Protocol (NTP) for all domain controllers
If a problem is found, the tool describes the problem, indicates the severity, and links you to guidance at the Microsoft Web site (such as a Knowledge Base article) to help you resolve the problem. You can save or print a report for later review. The tool does not change anything on your computer or your network.