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Managing Replication

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By William R. Stanek

from Chapter 2, Windows NT Administrator's Pocket Consultant .

Windows NT Directory Replication Service is used to automatically copy files between systems in a Windows NT domain. You configure this service via the Server Manager by specifying export directories and import directories for computers in the domain. Export directories are used as the originator for file copies and import directories are the destination to which files are copied.

The service is primarily designed to replicate logon scripts on the primary domain controller to backup domain controllers. Because of this, the export directory is set by default to %SystemRoot%\System32\Repl\Export and the import directory is set by default to %SystemRoot%\System32\ Repl\Import. Any subdirectories of Export can be imported to other systems. For example, if Export contained Scripts and Samples subdirectories, these could be made available to other systems.

As you'll see when you work with directory replication, one of the major shortcomings is that you can only export and import a single directory tree structure.

Setting up directory replication is a four-step process:

  1. Create replication accounts.

  2. Configure the Directory Replicator service.

  3. Set up the Export server.

  4. Set up the Import workstations or servers, or both.

Creating Replication Accounts

Before you can enable replication, you need to create a domain user account in User Manager for Domains with the following properties:

  • Select Password Never Expires.

  • Allow all logon hours.

  • Make the user a member of the domain Backup Operators group.

This account is known as the replication user account. You will need to refer to this account when you set up the replication service.

Note: Repeat this process if you are working with multiple domains. For complete details on working with User Manager for Domains, see Chapter 5.

Configuring the Directory Replicator Service

On each computer that will use replication, use Server Manager to configure the Directory Replicator service to start up automatically and to log on using the replication user account. You can configure the service by following these steps:

  1. Select the computer you want to work with in Server Manager, then choose Services from the Computer menu.

  2. In the Services utility, double-click on the entry for Directory Replicator. This opens the dialog box shown in Figure 2-15.

  3. In the Startup Type area, select the Automatic radio button.

  4. In the Log On As area, select the This Account radio button. Then enter the replication account name or use the associated button to select the account.

  5. Enter the password for the account, then confirm the password by entering it again.

  6. Click OK.

  7. Repeat as necessary for other computers that will use replication.

    Figure 2-15: Configure the Directory Replicator service to use the replicator user account.

    Figure 2-15: Configure the Directory Replicator service to use the replicator user account.

    Cc749853.02wnta16(en-us,TechNet.10).gif

    Figure 2-16: With this dialog box you can create and manage directory replication on Windows NT servers.

Setting Up the Export Server

Only Windows NT servers can export directories. Select the server that will export directories in Server Manager, then open its Properties dialog box. You can now configure the server to export directories as follows:

  1. In the Properties dialog box, click on the Replication button. This opens the dialog box shown in Figure 2-16.

  2. Select the Export Directories radio button, then enter the path you want to export in the From Path field. The default path is %SystemRoot%\ System32\Repl\Export.

  3. The To List on the left side of the dialog box lists import destinations. You must specify at least one computer or domain in this list. Click on the Add button to display the Select Domain dialog box. You can now select a domain or enter a computer name. Computer names must be preceded by the double backslash, such as \\ZETA.

  4. When you are finished adding the import destination, click OK. Add additional import destinations as necessary.

  5. Choose OK to complete the configuration of the export server.

Setting Up Import Computers

Both Windows NT servers and workstations can import directories. Select the computer that will import directories in Server Manager, then open its Properties dialog box. You can now configure the computers to import directories as follows:

  1. In the Properties dialog box, click on the Replication button. This opens the dialog box shown in Figure 2-16. Windows NT workstations can only import directories. They cannot export directories. Because of this, if you are replicating to a Windows NT workstation the dialog box is different, as shown in Figure 2-17.

  2. Select the Import Directories radio button, then enter the path you want to import in the From Path field. The default path is %SystemRoot%\ System32\Repl\Import.

  3. The From List on the right side of the dialog box lists export destinations (this applies to Windows NT Server only). You must specify at least one computer or domain in this list. Click on the Add button to display the Select Domain dialog box. You can now select a domain or enter a computer name. Computer names must be preceded by a double backslash, such as \\ZETA.

  4. When you are finished adding the export destination, click OK. Add additional export destinations as necessary.

  5. Choose OK to complete the configuration of the import server.

  6. The Directory Replicator service should be started automatically on the Import and Export computers. Once the export directory is stabilized, the import directory should contain an exact mirror of the export directory.

Once you set up replication, you can control replication by starting and stopping the Directory Replicator service via the Services Control Panel utility. To replicate additional files, place them in subdirectories of the export path. To manage the way in which directories are replicated, use the Manage buttons found in the Directory Replication dialog box.

Cc749853.02wnta17(en-us,TechNet.10).gif

Figure 2-17: With these dialog boxes you can create and manage directory replication on Windows NT workstations.

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

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