Using the Replication Monitor

Part 2 in our series on Keeping Active Directory Healthy: Windows 2000s Replication Monitor, replication topology, and the Replication Diagnostic Tool.

 By Brien M. Posey
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In Part 1 of this series, I discussed the fact that every once in a while it's possible for your Active Directory to develop inconsistencies or various other problems. If these problems are replicated to other domain controllers, then a minor problem can quickly turn into a major one. Fortunately, Windows 2000 provides many different tools that you can use to detect and correct a wide variety of Active Directory problems. In this article, I'll continue my discussion of these tools.

Replication Monitor

As you may recall, in Part 1 I began discussing the Active Directory Replication Monitor. As I mentioned, this tool is designed to provide administrators with a way of making sure that domain controllers are replicating Active Directory information correctly.

The Active Directory Replication Monitor is relatively easy to use. When you open the tool, you'll usually see a blank screen divided into two columns, titled Monitored Servers and Log. Because the screen is blank, the first thing you must do is to establish which server or servers you want to monitor. To do so, select the Add Monitored Server command from the Edit menu. When you do, you'll see a screen that gives you a choice of either entering the name of the server you want to monitor or searching a specific domain for a server to monitor. Whichever method you choose to use, select your server. You'll see a summary of its basic Active Directory information in the Monitored Servers column, and the Log column will begin to fill in. You can see an example in Figure 1.

Figure 1: The Active Directory Replication Monitor can be used to test whether replication is working on a given server.

Now that you know how to look at a specific server, let's review the operation of this tool. As you've no doubt figured out, when you're looking at a server's replication status, you're building a log file. You can use the Save Monitored List As and Open Log commands from the File menu to save a log file and to view the log at a later time. The File menu also offers you the ability to run replication-related scripts.

Most of this tool's functionality is found on the Action menu. If you open the Action menu, you'll probably find that most of the menu items are unavailable. This is the case because the available menu items depend on which object you've selected in the tree under the Monitored Servers column. Each command found on the Action menu reveals a submenu. Some of these submenus are smallfor example, the only command found on the Domain menu is Search Domain Controller For Replication Errors. However, other menus, such as the Server menu, are large.

The Server menu allows you to perform a wide variety of replication-related tasks. For example, you can check the replication topology or synchronize the directory partition with all of the servers that are involved in the replication process. The Server menu also lets you view a vast amount of information by simply selecting various menu commands. For example, you can show things such as the group policy object status or the current performance data. You can see the Server menu in Figure 2.

Figure 2: The Server menu contains commands that allow you to view a wealth of information about your servers.

This article was originally published on Dec 21, 2000
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