Birdsnest Explorer is an on-prem product, installed on a Windows Server in your datacenter.
Birdsnest Explorer is designed to ingest a significant amount of data about your environment. It is expected that management and security staff will have concerns about this. The points below should help answer some of those concerns:
- Birdsnest Explorer is not a cloud product, and has no cloud/internet dependencies. Your data never leaves your environment. If desired, you can deploy the product on a server in a DMZ with no connections in or out allowed, other than traffic for management and data ingestion. See the documentation for more details
- Authentication is performed against Active Directory/LDAP, and no user credentials are stored in the database
- HTTPS is enabled by default, and supports (and we recommend) LDAPS for authentication
- Birdsnest Explorer is open source, so you can look at and review exactly what it is doing at any time from the source repository
This is a valid concern when implementing any new system. Many hours can be lost decommissioning a system that holds large amounts of business data, exporting it all, and importing into some new replacement system. However this isn’t the case with Birdsnest Explorer.
Birdsnest Explorer does not become the primary data store for your business data. Its job is to show you how data in your other primary data stores is related. If you turn off and delete the Birdsnest Explorer server, all data still resides in its respective system
Yes and no. Birdsnest is designed to be straight forward to use, and to make obscure information visible. This will make it relevant to a wide range of users. However some information may have been obscured on purpose for business reasons.
Some attention should be given to who is given access to Birdsnest Explorer, and that they are aware of their responsibilities regarding protecting the business information it uncovers.
In some cases yes, but this will depend on the scanner and how the scan job is configured. In our testing and experience with pilot sites, load has not been an issue. Some examples:
The Active Directory scanner is relatively low load and quick to run. A domain with ~25,000 user objects, ~25,000 groups, and ~400,000 ‘member of’ relationships will usually take around 2 minutes to run, and most of that time is spent writing to the Birdsnest Explorer database, not running AD queries.
The file system scanner on the other hand is a multi-threaded crawler that can take several hours to run. The scanner has been designed to control the load applied to underlying storage, however if the storage is already close to performance limits, or too many scan jobs or threads are run at once, this could introduce excessive load to the system. Guidance is provide in the documentation on this topic. Most of the time however, an enterprise storage system will barely notice the scan running.
In all cases, it is recommended to follow normal testing processes, and complete the first run of a scan job in a way where unexpected load won’t cause an issue e.g. run it out of business hours
The client front end for Birdsnest Explorer is web based, and is supported on Chrome, Microsoft Edge Chromium, and IE11*. Firefox has also been successfully tested, however is not officially supported at this time
*Internet Explorer may have some features disabled, and support will likely be removed in upcoming versions as Microsoft removes support for the browser
Yes. The 20Road Managed Installer provides simple step by step install that can usually be completed in under 10 minutes from a bare Windows Server build, all from the Managed Installer GUI.