Top 10 Best Active Directory Migration Tools (Pros and Cons)

Top 10 Best Active Directory Migration Tools (Pros and Cons). Unlike regular IT migrations, Active Directory migrations are far more complex. 

IT migrations is the shifting of data or software from one system to another. Depending what your business requires, an IT migration could consist of: migration of Data, applications migration, operating system migrations, or Cloud migration.

What is Data Migration?

Data migration is the process transferring the data between systems. The transfer systems can be data storage types or file formats. Data from the old system is transferred to a new system via mapping pattern.

 

Mapping patterns holds designs for data extraction and data load activities. The design is like a translator between the old and new data formats to provide smoother data migration.

What is Active Directory (AD) Migration?

Active Directory Migration is a process of combining two Domains into one.  In other words you split  part of your Active Directory into a new domain (divestiture) that makes Active Directory Migration. Active Directory Migrations can involve moving the users, computers, and the appropriate applications to a new domain which makes a process of Active Directory Migration a very complex task.

AD migration is required for some of the reasons mentioned below:

  • Maintenance or upgrade activities.
  • Storage/Server need a replacement.
  • Website merger /consolidation, etc.
  • Data center migration or relocation.
  • upgrading your operating system and other applications.

 

Without performing Active Directory (AD) migrations, you could potentially be opting out of new functions and features, vendors like Microsoft and others could stop supporting the outdated software.  As a result the organizations could be exposed to Active Directory security issues downtime risks and product non compliance.

What is Active Directory (AD)?

Active Directory (AD) is the programming code that Microsoft provides as a part of the Windows Server and the compound environment that enterprises have built around AD ecosystem.  Active Directory Domain Services uses a tiered layout (ecosystem) that consists of domains, forests, trees, and fine tuned AD security groups, complex networks, and migration is challenging.

Top 10 Best Active Directory Migration Tools

Active Directory Migration Tools are essentially an Active Directory Migration Solution that helps you manage and perform the necessary operations to move AD objects.

 

Selecting the right Active Directory Migration solution helps minimize the risk associated with Active Directory migration, restructuring or consolidating a project and eventually simplifying the job.

 

Active Directory Migration Tools help you construct an extensive plan and accomplish a successful migration, thus saving time and money and ensuring the security of resources, workstations, and emails while the migration activity is in force.

What do Active Directory Migration tools do?

With Active Directory Migration Tools, you can:

 

  • Plan your migration
  • Test your plan
  • Migrate users without an impact.
  • Move all types of objects.
  • Automate updates.
  • Avoid disturbing users.
  • Finish the migration activity faster.
  • Migrate with confidence.

The top 10 Active Directory Migration Tools mentioned below are in no particular order or preference.

1. Migration Manager For Active Directory

Top 10 Best Active Directory Migration Tools (Pros and Cons) first on the list is Manager for Active Directory gives you synchronized capabilities, well organized project management and business support critical for delivering no impact Active Directory migration. With this tool, the end users can maintain secured access to the resources, workstations, and emails during the entire migration process. This all in one Microsoft Active Directory Migration Tool helps organizations migrate to AD stress free with no data loss and no downtime.

Pros of AD Migration Manager

  • Complete coexistence – Allows hindrance free user access to all network resources irrespective of their migration status.
  • Zero impact migration – Re consolidate and reconstruct your Active Directory with no adverse impact on resource productivity.
  • All inclusive planning – You can plan and execute any migration from simple improvements to domain reconstructing.
  • Simple project planning – You can manage your migration process with a simplified yet robust project management collaboration.
  • Robust project management – The migration tool allows you to migrate your AD with advanced assignment capabilities, several reporting choices, micro undo functionalities, distributed resource filtering, and enhanced permission features.
  • Migration with no downtime – You can reorganize your Active Directory even during business hours without a negative impact on user productivity.
  • Complete migration planning – Plan your Active Directory migration with scheduling workstation use, regrouping users, and updating access rights.
  • Secure execution – Use a test mode to confirm the security and accuracy of the migration plan and then use Migration Manager to update the post migration ecosystem, secure passwords, and remove sourced accounts and similar references.

Cons of AD Migration Manager

  • The setting up of Migration Manager can be a tricky process. You might need the help of the customer support.
  • The earlier versions had no way of viewing all the reports.

2. Secure Copy

Secure Copy is one of the best Active Directory Migration Tool that provides solutions in an automated mode for securely migrating file server data. This migration tool has no impact on the end users and gives you the freedom to decide how the data is to be relocated. It requires no support from agents or scripts.

With Secure Copy, you can quickly, easily, and safely migrate data from one server to another and subsequently consolidate the file servers, and even move data to a SAN/NAS device. Unlike the system migration tools, Secure Copy takes reasonably less time to complete the migration. It also supports advanced reporting that would help you with migration if there were any complexities.

Pros of Secure Copy

  • Data migration is secure – Secure Copy not only migrate files but also metadata like folders, NTFS permissions, local groups and users, attributes, shares, ownership, updated SID history securely. Additionally, you can use this toolkit to confirm that the configurations and security of the source server match with the target server.
  • Data migration flexibility – Secure Copy allows you to control data migration at every turn, thus allowing the data migration process to work around the end resources instead of users working around the data migration process.
  • Comprehensive reporting of work status and missed files – The advanced reporting system allows you to migrate data with a gamut of reporting to facilitate a proper migrating process and to follow up on the job that has been skipped.
  • Automated work process – Secure Copy ensures an entirely automatic process that reduces the pre and post migration exercises, thus resulting in less time to complete tasks. The toolkit also includes an update utility that helps you update user data in bulk instead of updating the same individually on Active Directory.
  • Job dashboard – The Active Directory Migration Tool provides a job tracking mechanism that helps you with graphs and gauges to know about the migration status and performance by file type.

Cons of Secure Copy

  • All the vendors are not equally created.
  • Secure Copy can only migrate files and is not a complete process.

How Secure is Your Active Directory ?

78% of companies have an insecure Active Directory and are vulnerable to a potential attack!!

 

Download our FREE  Active Directory Security Best Practices Compliance Checker

3. CopyRight2

Next on our list of Top 10 Best Active Directory Migration Tools (Pros and Cons) is CopyRight2 is a market leader in the Active Directory Migration Tool domain. It reliably, securely, and easily migrates groups, users, contacts, distribution lists, containers, and organizational units across different domain forests or within the exact domains.

As a migration tool, CopyRight2 is very simple and does not have the complexities of other tools. It does not require trust between target and source domains. It does not need SQL server instances or agents to be installed for migration activities.

Although CopyRight2 assists sidHistory in interforest and intra migrations, it, however, does not require it. CopyRight2 helps you effectively separate the account from computer migration and resource management projects.

Pros of CopyRight2

  • Multiple account selection options.
  • Definitive Active Directory attributes to migrate.
  • Migration of NTFS and Share Level permissions.
  • Intra Forest domain migration.
  • Inter Forest domain migration.
  • Supported by all Active Directory versions.
  • The tool helps with easy deployment.
  • 24/7 support and free upgrades/updates.

Cons of CopyRight2

  • The migration process is slow in comparison to some other protocols.
  • Initialising of CopyRight2 can be a lengthy procedure.

4. NetIQ Domain Migration Administrator

NetIQ Domain Migration Administrator can be installed on any Windows server or client Operating System with at least Windows 2000 SP1. It is relatively easier to install, although you would need to install SQL Server 2008, Standard, Enterprise, or Express database separately. Agents can also be installed on any version of Windows from 2008 to Windows Server 2019.

Like Active Directory Migration Tools, NetIQ Domain Migration Administrator requires various prerequisites before an AD migration starts. This includes creating trust between domains, constructing secondary DNS blocks so you can identify that target and source domains, and setting required cross domain administrator rights or permissions. Once these requirements are fulfilled, the Domain Migration Administrator helps complete other necessities on your behalf, like Active Directory groups and audit configurations in every domain.

NetIQ Domain Migration Administrator tool contains database modeling that helps you perform trial migrations to check the probable results at the target domain. The trial migration lets you identify the potential problems and resolve the same beforehand. You can also use the database to clean object information before transferring it to the target domain.

Pros of NetIQ Domain Migration Administrator

  • Easy setup.
  • NetIQ includes database modelling.

Cons of NetIQ Domain Migration Administrator

  • The tool has a single way synchronization.
  • Migration application server support has to be bought separately.

5. Binary Tree Migrator Pro

Binary Tree Migrator Pro is a highly customized and secure migration tool that allows you to consolidate, merge, or reconfigure your Active Directory ecosystem. You can manage devices, users, and keep applications in sync and adapt the tool as per your requirement. This helps you migrate remotely located workstations even when they are not linked to the corporate network.

Binary Tree Migrator Pro tool automates the entire process of consolidation, restructuring, and separation of Active Directory ecosystems. This migration tool migrates and synchronizes objects, properties, settings, servers, and workstations within the Active Directory forest network, even if they are on isolated or disconnected networks.

Pros of Binary Tree Migrator Pro

  • Data migration flexibility – Binary Tree Migrator Pro allows you to control data migration at every turn, thus allowing the data migration process to work around the end users instead of end users working around the data migration process.
  • All in one planning – You can plan and process any migration from simple improvements to domain reconstructing.
  • Secure execution – You can use a test mode to confirm the security and accuracy of the migration plan and then use Migration Manager to update the post migration ecosystem, secure passwords, and remove sourced accounts and other references.
  • Comprehensive migration planning – Plan your Active Directory migration with the Binary Tree Migrator Pro tool by scheduling workstation use, regrouping users, and updating access rights.

Cons of Binary Tree Migrator Pro

  • The technical support could be better.
  • The migration method can be faster.

6. Microsoft Active Directory Migration Tool (ADMT)

Another good choice of top 10 Best Active Directory Migration Tools is Microsoft’s Active Directory Migration Tool ADMT, its a tool that simplifies the task of restructuring and migrating objects in an Active Directory domain ecosystem. You can utilize ADMT v3.2 to migrate groups, users, and computers between Active Directory Domain Service domains in the similar forest (intra forest) or between Active Directory Domain Service domains in the different forest (inter-forest).

ADMT Active Directory Migration Tool is capable of translating security services to migrate local user profiles while performing inter-forest migrations. You can install the tool on any system capable of using Windows Server 2008 OS or later. However, it cannot run on domains that are read only controllers or have Server Core configuration.

The ADMT installed agent in the source domains can function on computers running Windows Server 2008, Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, and Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2022.

Prerequisites for installing Active Directory Migration Tool (ADMT)

To install ADMT, you need the following system requirements

 

  • Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, and Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2022
  • Active Directory Migration Tool will not work if computers are a read only domain controller or when they are a part of a server core configuration.
  • You need a SQL server database instance for ADMT to store data. 

Pros of Active Directory Migration Tool

  • Supported by all Active Directory versions.
  • Multiple account selection options.
  • Migration of NTFS and Share Level permissions.
  • Definitive Active Directory attributes to migrate.

Cons of Active Directory Migration Tool

  • The migration tool has a one way synchronization method.
  • The vendors are not created equal.

7. Dell Migration Manager For Active Directory

Dell Migration Manager is a flexible, effective, and comprehensive solution for migrating your Active Directory. The migration is done by restructuring between domains or forests. Migration depends on the environment and the goals of migration and may thus vary.

Migration Manager from Dell also allows assigning migration tasks to other people. Assigned administrators can process and migrate only the resources specified. Dell Migration Manager helps you with effective project delegation and management when migrating into large distributed environments.

Pros of Dell Migration Manager

  • Simple project planning – You can manage your migration process with a simplified yet robust project management collaboration.
  • Powerful project management – The migration tool allows you to migrate your AD with advanced assignment capabilities, several Active Directory reporting choices, micro undo functionalities, distributed resource filtering, and enhanced permission features.
  • Complete migration planning – Plan your Active Directory migration by scheduling workstation use, regrouping users, and updating access rights.

Cons of Dell Migration Manager

  • The support system does not function to its potential.
  • The migration tool is slow in comparison to other migration tools.

8. InfraSOS - Active Directory Tools

InfraSOS is an Active Directory reporting solution developed by Cloud Infrastructure Services. It will provide you with a detailed report on Active Directory user reports and groups, Office 365 users, groups and licensing, Azure AD on all your Active Directory Objects and attributes. With InfraSOS, you can create your custom reports based on user settings, passwords, groups, attribute entries, GPOs, and computer objects. You can also schedule reports to run and send an email at a specific date and time.

One of the greatest features of this tool is that it helps to secure your domain and makes sure your domain is PCI compliant and detect if your AD is vulnerable to attack. This tool will also show you any misconfigurations and errors that cause replication problems.  An excellent tool to clean up your Active Directory before migration.  Its important to make sure your AD domain is healthy before any migrations.

Key Features of InfraSOS

  • Active Directory Report – It can generate 200+ AD reports and allows you to export them in HTML and CSV format.
  • Active Directory User Report – It can generate reports on all AD users including, inactive users, locked out users, real last login of users and disabled user reports.
  • Azure AD / Office 365 Reports – It can generate reports on Office 365 including, licensing, Users, Groups, Mailbox, OWA, Contacts, and much more.
  • Active Directory Logon Reports – It can generate reports on AD Logon including, logon time, logon hours, and any user login attributes.
  • Active Directory Computer Reports – It can generate complete reports on computer objects, domain controllers, workstations, computer account status, and OS based reports.
  • Active Directory OU Reports – It can generate reports on Active Directory Organizational Units (OU), recently created, changed, GPO linked, GPO Inheritance blocked.
  • Domain Controller Health – It can generate reports on the AD domain controller replication health, Set alerts on Active Directory DC replication status.
  • Active Directory Password Reports – It can identify vulnerable AD accounts and generate password reports on your users including, status, security permissions, password expiry, invalid logon, password changes, and more.

9. Azure AD Connect Tool

Azure AD Connect Tool from Microsoft is another choice of top 10 Best Active Directory Migration tools. The enterprise identity service allows multi factor authentication and single sign on to protect users from the majority of cyberattacks. This tool is actually considered to be a cloud migration tool; however, it has on premise services as well. With AAD, IT administrators can leverage their on premise Active Directory for Azure identities and then move outward to Office 365 and other web applications beyond Azure.

It is not entirely correct for those who still believe that Azure Active Directory is only a cloud based service. AAD is a cloud extension, and it requires AD on premise to function correctly.

Pros of Azure AD Connect Tool

  • Easy management of user assignments and groups.
  • Built in redundancy and replication across Domain Controllers.
  • Extends on premise Active Directory.
  • Easy integration of web application with OAuth
  • Data access policies are strong.

Cons of Azure AD Connect Tool

  • At times the UI is very cumbersome – Bulk edits are better with PowerShell.
  • It could be challenging looking for documents when integrating Azure Active Directory into web pages.

10. Password Export Server

The last on the list of best Active Directory Migrations tools is Microsoft Password Export Server It allows you to migrate passwords during the migration of accounts within the Active Directory Domain Services infrastructure. This feature is beneficial and erases the requirement to inform the new passwords to the users.

Active Directory Migration Tool provides the facility to run Password Export Server service in the local system environment or by using the credentials of a verified user in the target domain. For password migration to work as per the laid down process, you would have to activate the Password Export Server service manually. This service should only be used when you are into user account migration, and stop this service when you are done with user migration.

Pros of Password Export Server

  • The tool has a Dynamic Web Portal feature used for delegating directory information.
  • The tool helps in migrating to remote workstations even when they are not connected.

Cons of Password Export Server

  • You cannot install the x64 version of Password Export Server Version 3.1 on an x86 version.
  • The vendors are not created equally.

Top 10 Best Active Directory Migration Tools Conclusion

While selecting the best AD migration tool, always remember to analyze the permission structure and ensure that the system automates group creation and user account. It should be a value for money tool that is money worth or a free tool you won’t regret installing.

Avatar for Hitesh Jethva
Hitesh Jethva

I am a fan of open source technology and have more than 10 years of experience working with Linux and Open Source technologies. I am one of the Linux technical writers for Cloud Infrastructure Services.

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