Product Reviews

A Few of My Favorite Things: ReplMon

Compaq knows a thing or two about troubleshooting large networks. Here are some of the utilities and programs it uses most and likes best for Windows 2000.

The Active Directory Replication Monitor (ReplMon.exe) is wonderful Win2K tool for managing and monitoring replication. This tool can be installed as part of the Win2K support tools on the Server or Advanced Server CDs.

The intuitive interface of the tool provides four basic areas of functionality:

Verifying replication topology: Each server added to the display automatically compiles a list of its replication partners and displays them below itself. The display of transitive replication partners can be turned on or off.

Troubleshooting replication: Clicking on a server's replication partner brings up a useful display of statistics related to replication between the two DCs.

Last successful replication time: Long durations could spell problems.

Current USN Number: A replication partner with a USN lower than the current USN on the monitored server could indicate replication problems.

Replication can be triggered in an "on-demand" fashion by selecting a server's replication partner, right-clicking and choosing the option to synchronize with a single replication partner (one-to-one replication) or synchronize with all its replication partners.

ReplMon
Through ReplMon, reports can be generated for each server, listing the server's current USN, its replication partners, and so on. (Click image to view larger version.)

The replication monitor can also be used to perform administrative tasks, including:

  • Viewing and transferring FSMO roles
  • Viewing and transferring Global Catalog servers
  • Viewing Global Catalog servers in the enterprise
  • Displaying trust relationships
  • Compiling a list of Bridgehead servers

I've used this tool many times to troubleshoot replication, and it's saved me much time. Using ReplMon in conjunction with other Win2K tools such as Event Viewer makes short work of resolving complex replication issues.

About the Author

Jim Hautala, MCSE, is a technology consultant, Windows and Messaging Practice, for Compaq in New England.

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