UseridID-Agent best practices - where to install ?
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UseridID-Agent best practices - where to install ?

L3 Networker

I'm new to this world and am looking for some advice of where to install the  UserID Agent.

I'm thinking one of the most efficient places to put it would be a domain controller.

User identification is very important to us and we want to be able to id and many users as possible. Anyone else put this on a domain domain controller ? Should I install multiple agents per domain ?

Any advice would be helpful, Thanks,



L4 Transporter

I'm sure there will be other responses here, but typically the best place to install is either on or near the domain controller.  The reason being is that the User ID Agent will constantly read the security logs of the Domain Controller in order to identify users, and will parse your AD tree for new groups being added and other AD information.  These logs can get fairly lengthy and as a consequence there could be a lot of data that goes across the network if you put the agent far away.  Because of this, it might be a bad idea to put it on the other side of a WAN from your DC for example.

As far as multiple agents go, you should be aware that your security appliance will select one as the "primary" agent to look at for group membership updates.  Nothing to configure here, the primary is automatically selected for you, and you can tell which one the "primary" is by typing "show user pan-agent statistics" in the CLI.  The one with the "*" is the primary.

Also, I've attached an older tech note on User ID.  While it's a bit dated and we are working on a new one, the concepts and "how-it-works" aspects are the same!  I hope this helps!

L2 Linker

We have around 45,000 users. We are using two PAN agents. One on a virutal server and one on a desktop server. Both are located in the core of our network. This seems to work fine for us.

L7 Applicator

also important to consider is to which servers your clients authenticate to log on every logon event is registered in the security log of the AD and it are these events the pan-agent picks up for user identification, but these logs are not synchronised across AD servers. if multiple servers authenticate users to spread the load, you will want to poll all of these to collect all the logon events

Tom Piens
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L3 Networker

Thanks for all the great replies. 

We got bitten by this as we have DC's scattered throughout our network.  We have three Internet gateway points with PA's installed and three UIA's, one local to each gateway.  Each then queries the DC's for it's respective zone (Americas, EMEA, AsiaPac) to get a polling of user-to-IP mappings for each respective region.

We needed to tweak the timers on the UIA to stop hammering our WAN links as a result of this design.  We get a bit of lag in our mapping results (we only poll the DC's every two minutes), but that was acceptable to us so as to reduce the bandwidth utilization on the network.


BWilliams could you provide more details about your environment? How many locations and DC's are you talking about roughly? Are you polling over WAN links?


Something I wanted to clarify / confirm: it seems the agent needs to read the security logs from the domain controller which handles desktop (or console) logins, not from domain controllers which process authentication requests for access to resources (e.g. data or email servers)

Can someone confirm / deny this?

It would be ideal if we could just read the auth requests from (or near) our email server, since we have just a few centralized email servers but dozens and dozens of domain controllers.


This is derived from the UID Guide:

Active Directory Integration – Use of pan-agents to retrieve user/group membership from Active Directory and user/IP mapping via security logs from Windows Domain Controllers (DC).

So it will need access and read from DCs that processes logon events.

Thanks, that's what we are finding as well.

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