Aelita Aims to Ease Active Directory Pain

POWELL, OHIO (05/23/2000) - As more IT executives begin to eye a move to Microsoft Corp.'s Windows 2000, third-party vendors are cranking out the tools to help make the migration easier.

One such vendor is Aelita Software Corp., which is adding a slew of features to its Domain Migration Wizard (DMW) 5.0, a directory management tool to help enterprise customers move from Windows NT 4.0 to Windows 2000 and its Active Directory.

Aelita is adding a Project Manager to Version 5.0 that lets companies track the migration process, which can take up to 24 months. DMW also includes Data Mover, a tool that ensures access controls are retained while consolidating NT domains and moving resource domains into Win 2000.

DMW 5.0 is the foundation of Aelita's Controlled Migration Suite, which also includes Enterprise Directory Reporter and Enterprise Delegation Manager, which lets users create an Active Directory-like structure in NT.

In DMW 5.0, Aelita has added the ability to consolidate domains on a Windows NT back-up domain controller instead of a primary domain controller during migrations to alleviate stress on the network. DMW also has enhanced password synchronization and tools for cleaning up history records on NT's Secure IDs, which can become a security concern in Active Directory.

Despite the new features, Aelita faces competition from larger vendors such as FastLane Technologies, with its DM/ Consolidator and DM/Manager for migrating users and data to Active Directory.

"The project management tools are unique to Aelita," says John Enck, an analyst with the Gartner Group in Stamford, Conn. "They're really trying to gain a competitive edge by packaging all this stuff into one tool."

Entevo and NetIQ (which completed its merger with Mission Critical last week) also have migration tools that compete with Aelita's. For enterprise users, the message is that any migration to Win 2000 will require some third-party tools to augment what Microsoft includes with Win 2000.

"Because there is such a dearth of Active Directory experts available now, these tools will be a useful crutch for migrating to Active Directory," says Joe Clabby, an analyst with Aberdeen Group in Boston.

Top tools

For Aelita, Project Manager and Data Mover are key tools. Project Manager allows migrations to be divided into specific tasks that can be delegated to individual administrators. For example, the local administrator in a regional office could be assigned the task of migrating only the users in his office.

The local migration is tracked centrally by Project Manager, giving project leaders a comprehensive view of the migration.

Data Mover not only does the heavy lifting of moving data between systems, but also retains access controls associated with files and applications. A key feature of Data Mover is that it automatically updates profiles on a user's desktop, which guarantees that links to files and applications are not broken when data is moved.

DMW is available now and is priced at $11 per user.


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