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Configuring WINS Database Replication

Archived content. No warranty is made as to technical accuracy. Content may contain URLs that were valid when originally published, but now link to sites or pages that no longer exist.
By William R. Stanek

Archived content - No warranty is made as to technical accuracy. Content may contain URLs that were valid when originally published, but now link to sites or pages that no longer exist.

from Chapter 15, Windows NT Administrator's Pocket Consultant.

WINS servers can be configured to replicate their databases with each other. This ensures that each server's database is current and reflects changes on the network. As an administrator, you have many options for controlling when replication occurs. You can also force replication at any time.

Replication is handled with push partners and pull partners. Any WINS server can be configured as a push or pull partner, or both. A push partner is a WINS server that notifies other WINS servers of changes on the network. A pull partner is a WINS server that requests replicas from a push partner.

Setting Default Replication Parameters

On an extended network, you may want to set default parameters for all new push and pull partners. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Select the server you want to work with in WINS Manager and then choose the Preferences command on the Options menu.

  2. In the Preferences dialog box, click on the Partners button. As shown in Figure 15-6, you should see a new area of the Preferences dialog box.

  3. Set the default options for Pull Partners using the New Pull Partner Default Configuration area. Start Time sets the hour in the day when replication should begin, such as 7:00:00 A.M. Replication Interval sets the intervals at which scheduled replication should occur, such as every 30 minutes.

  4. Set the default options for Push Partners using the New Push Partner Default Configuration area. Update Count specifies the number of registrations and changes that must take place before pull partners are notified, which triggers database replication. This counter is for local changes only and doesn't tally changes pulled from other partners.

    Cc722537.15wnta06(en-us,TechNet.10).gif

    Figure 15-6: Click on the Partners button on the Preferences dialog box to display an extended window for setting default push and pull partner parameters.
  5. Click OK to set the default values.

Best Practice The default values you use depend on your network's size. On a small network, you may want to have a fairly low update count and a higher replication interval, which accounts for fewer changes and less information needing replication. For example, use a count of 25 and an interval of 60 minutes. On a large network, you may want to have a higher update count and a lower replication interval, which accounts for more changes and a greater need to replicate information throughout the network. For example, use a count of 250 and an interval of 20 minutes. Keep in mind that if you set the replication interval or the update count too low, you may cause extra traffic to be generated on the network.

Creating Push and Pull Partners

Push and pull partners are needed to replicate WINS databases whenever there are multiple WINS servers on a network. You must configure replication separately for each WINS server on the network.

To configure push and pull partners, follow these steps:

  1. Select the server you want to work with in WINS Manager. This server is the one for which you will configure replication partners.

  2. Choose the Replication Partners option on the Server menu. This opens the dialog box shown in Figure 15-7, on the following page.

  3. If the WINS servers you want to work with aren't listed in the WINS Server area, click on the Add button. This opens the Add WINS Server dialog box and you can now enter the computer name or IP address of a WINS server on the network. Repeat this step as necessary for additional WINS servers.

    Cc722537.15wnta07(en-us,TechNet.10).gif

    Figure 15-7: The Replication Partners dialog box is used to configure push and pull partners.
  4. The WINS Servers To List area of the Replication Partners dialog box lets you control which types of WINS servers are displayed in the WINS Server list box. You'll usually want all three check boxes to be selected.

    • Push Partners is used to display push partners for this server.

    • Pull Partners is used to display pull partners for this server.

    • Other is used to display WINS servers that are neither push nor pull partners.

  5. In the WINS Server list box, select the WINS server you want to make a replication partner. A single server can be a push or pull partner, or both. If the server is to be a push and pull partner, follow steps 6 and 7.

  6. If the server is to be a push partner,

    • Select the Push Partner check box and choose the related Configure button. This opens the Push Partner Properties dialog box shown in Figure 15-8.

    • Now set the update count for the push partner. Update Count specifies the number of registrations and changes that must take place before pull partners are notified, which triggers database replication. This counter is for local changes only and doesn't tally changes pulled from other partners.

    • Click OK to close the dialog box.

      Cc722537.15wnta08(en-us,TechNet.10).gif

      Figure 15-8: Use the Push Partner Properties dialog box to configure the push partner.

      Cc722537.15wnta09(en-us,TechNet.10).gif

      Figure 15-9: Use the Pull Partner Properties dialog box to configure the pull partner.
  7. If the server is to be a pull partner,

    • Select the Pull Partner check box and choose the related Configure button. This opens the Pull Partner Properties dialog box shown in Figure 15-9.

    • Now set the options for pull partner. Start Time sets the hour in the day when replication should begin, such as 7:00:00 A.M. Replication Interval sets the intervals at which scheduled replication should occur, such as every 30 minutes.

    • Click OK to close the dialog box.

  8. In the Replication Partners dialog box, you start replication immediately by clicking on the Replicate Now button.

  9. Click OK to save the replication configuration.

Forcing Database Replication

Sometimes you may want to immediately update the WINS databases on replication partners. You can do this by forcing database replication with all partners or by triggering replication for a specific partner.

You can force replication by doing the following:

  1. In WINS Manager, select the server whose database you want to replicate.

  2. Choose the Replication Partners option on the Server menu and then click on the Replicate Now button.

Triggering Replication for a Specific Partner

To send a push or pull replication trigger to a specific partner, complete the following steps:

  1. In WINS Manager, select the server whose database you want to replicate and then choose the Replication Partners option on the Server menu.

  2. In the Replication Partners dialog box, select the push or pull partner on which you want to trigger replication.

  3. In the Send Replication Trigger Now area, choose the Push or Pull button as appropriate for the trigger you want to send. If you want to propagate the push trigger to the selected server's partners, select the Push With Propagation check box before you click on the Push button.

Managing Static Mappings for Non-WINS Clients

Static mappings allow computer names for non-WINS clients to be resolved to IP addresses. A static map permanently lists a computer name to IP address mapping that can't be overridden or removed by the WINS server. Only an administrator can remove a static mapping.

Viewing Static Mappings

You can view static mappings for a server selected in WINS Manager by choosing the Static Mappings option on the Mappings menu. This opens the dialog box shown in Figure 15-10. You can now

  • Set the listing order with the radio buttons in the Sort Order area.

  • Set a filter for the listings by using the Set Filter button. Simply enter a filter parameter, such as 192.11.*.* or CLEO*, and click OK. Filters are useful when you have lots of static mappings and need to find a particular set of mappings.

Creating Static Mappings

You create static mappings for non-WINS clients on the network, which allows their computer names to be resolved to IP addresses. Static mappings are permanent and should not be created for WINS clients. Note also that if DHCP is used with WINS, reserved IP addresses in DHCP always override static mappings assigned in WINS.

You create static mappings by completing the following steps:

  1. In WINS Manager, select the server on which you want to create static mappings and then choose Static Mappings from the Mappings menu.

    Cc722537.15wnta10(en-us,TechNet.10).gif

    Figure 15-10: Static mappings can be permanently assigned to non-WINS clients with the Static Mappings dialog box.
  2. In the Static Mappings dialog box, choose Add Mappings. This opens the dialog box shown in Figure 15-11.

  3. Select the type of static mapping. The type selections available are

    • Unique Used for computer names that are unique on the network with a single IP address per name. With unique mappings, you need to set a computer name and IP address.

    • Group Used for computers on a subnet where individual addresses are not stored for members of the group. No IP address needs to be set for a group. You can define a group for any subnet and then register this group with any or all of the WINS servers on the network. If a WINS server receives a request for the group name, the request resolves to the broadcast address 255.255.255.255. WINS clients then use this broadcast address as the destination address in the message packet, which results in a local broadcast on a subnet.

    • Domain Name Creates a domain name for up to 25 NetBIOS computer names that have 0x1C as the sixteenth byte. You need to set the domain name in the Name field and then enter up to 25 IP addresses using the IP Address field.

    • Internet Group Creates an Internet group with up to 25 members. You need to set the Internet Group name in the Name field and then enter up to 25 IP addresses using the IP Address field.

    • Multihomed Creates a single name that maps to multiple IP addresses on a multihomed computer. Enter the computer name in the Name field and then enter the computer's IP address(es) in the IP Address field.

  4. Make sure that you've entered the computer name and IP address(es) as specified in Step 3.

  5. Choose Add to create the static mapping.

    Cc722537.15wnta11(en-us,TechNet.10).gif

    Figure 15-11: Use the Add Static Mappings dialog box to create static mappings for non-WINS clients.

Importing Static Mappings from Other WINS Servers

On a network, you only need to create static mappings on a single WINS server. Afterward, you can import the mappings to other servers as necessary.

You can import static mappings by doing the following:

  1. In WINS Manager, select the server on which you want to create static mappings and then choose Static Mappings from the Mappings menu.

  2. In the Static Mappings dialog box, choose Import Mappings. This opens the Select Static Mappings dialog box, which is generally the same as a File Open dialog box.

  3. You can import static mappings from any LMHOSTS file or from any file formatted the same as LMHOSTS. All keywords in the LMHOSTS file are ignored, except the #DOM keyword. When the #DOM keyword is used, a special group is created.

  4. Choose Open to import the file.

Editing Static Mappings

You can edit or delete static mappings at any time in the WINS Manager. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. In WINS Manager, select the server on which you want to edit static mappings and then choose Static Mappings from the Mappings menu.

  2. In the Static Mappings dialog box, choose the static mapping you want to edit or delete.

  3. To edit the mapping, choose Edit Mapping.

  4. To delete the mapping, choose Delete Mapping.

Managing the WINS Database

The WINS database should be actively managed to maintain the health of WINS name resolution on the network. The WINS database files are stored in the %SystemRoot%\system32\wins folder. While you should never modify or delete these files, you may want to back them up periodically. A good set of backups can enable you to restore the WINS database in case of failure. Table 15-1 provides an overview of the WINS files.

Table 15-1 WINS Database Files

File Name

Description

JET.LOG

The database transaction log, which can be used to recover incomplete transactions

SYSTEM.MDB

Stores information about the structure of the WINS database

WINS.MDB

The WINS database file

WINSTMP.MDB

A temporary database file created while WINS is running on the system

Showing WINS Database Mappings

You can view the WINS database for a server selected in WINS Manager by choosing Show Database from the Mappings menu. This opens the dialog box shown in Figure 15-12. You can now

  • Set display options for all mappings or only for a specific owner.

  • Set the listing order using the radio buttons in the Sort Order area.

  • Set a filter for the listings by using the Set Filter button. Simply enter a filter parameter, such as 192.11.*.* or CLEO*, and click OK. Filters are useful when you have lots of static mappings and need to find a particular set of mappings.

The list box in the lower portion of the Show Database dialog box provides entries for static and active mappings. At the left side of the entry, you'll see one of two icons. An icon of a single computer shows that the mapping is for a unique name. An icon with multiple computers shows that the mapping is for a group, domain, Internet group, or multihomed entry. Mappings also show the following:

  • NetBIOS Computer Name The complete NetBIOS name of the computer or group along with a numeric suffix. The numeric suffix indicates the service associated with this mapping, such as 00h for the Workstation service.

  • IP Address The IP address associated with the mapping.

  • A/S Shows whether the mapping is active or static.

  • Expiration Date The time and date the mapping expires.

  • Version ID A unique ID assigned during registration that is used to find new records during replication.

    Cc722537.15wnta12(en-us,TechNet.10).gif

    Figure 15-12: The Show Database dialog box displays the current contents of the WINS database.

Cleaning and Scavenging the WINS Database

The WINS database should be cleaned periodically to ensure that old computer names are removed. The process of cleaning the database, called scavenging, is initiated automatically according to the Extinction Timeout interval set in the WINS Server Configuration dialog box.

You can also initiate scavenging manually. To do this, select the server you want to work with in WINS Manager and then choose Initiate Scavenging from the Mappings menu.

Compacting the WINS Database

The size of the WINS database can grow substantially over time. To squeeze the extra space out of the database, you should periodically compact it. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Log on to the WINS server that contains the WINS database you want to compact.

  2. Start the Services Control Panel utility.

  3. In the Services dialog box, select Windows Internet Name Service and then click Stop.

  4. Run JETPACK.EXE. This file is located in the %SystemRoot%\system32 folder.

  5. In the Services dialog box, select Windows Internet Name Service and then click Start.

Backing Up and Restoring the WINS Database

Normally, the WINS database is backed up when Windows Internet Name Service is stopped (except when the WINS server is shutting down). You set this option by selecting the Backup On Termination check box in the WINS Server Configuration dialog box. The directory used for backups is set using the Backup Directory Path field of this same dialog box.

Note: If you do not see the Backup On Termination check box in the WINS Server Configuration dialog box, click on the Advanced button. This displays the advanced configuration area of the dialog box.

Manual Backup

You can also back up the WINS database manually. You do this by completing the following steps:

  1. Log on to the WINS server on which you want to back up the database.

  2. Start WINS Manager and then select Backup Database from the Mappings menu.

  3. In the Select Backup Directory dialog box, select the directory you want to use for the backup and then choose OK. Because WINS databases can't be restored from mapped drives, the directory should be located on the local system.

  4. WINS Manager creates a subdirectory called wins_bak and backs up the WINS database to this subdirectory.

Restoring the Database

To restore the WINS database, follow these steps:

  1. Log on to the WINS server on which you want to restore the database.

  2. Start WINS Manager and then select Restore Local Database from the Mappings menu.

  3. Select the directory that contains the database backup and then click OK.

from Windows NT Administrator's Pocket Consultant by William R. Stanek. Copyright © 1999 Microsoft Corporation.

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