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Introduction to Active Directory Replication and Topology Management Using Windows PowerShell (Level 100)

coreyp-at-msft|Last Updated: 7/15/2016
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3 Contributors

Applies To: Windows Server Technical Preview

Windows PowerShell for Active Directory includes the ability to manage replication, sites, domains and forests, domain controllers, and partitions. Users of prior management tools such as the Active Directory Sites and Services snap-in and repadmin.exe will notice that similar functionality is now available from within the Windows PowerShell for Active Directory context. In addition, the cmdlets are compatible with the existing Windows PowerShell for Active Directory cmdlets, thus creating a streamlined experience and allowing customers to easily create automation scripts.

NOTE

The Windows PowerShell for Active Directory replication and topology cmdlets are available in the following environments:

  • Windows Server 2012 domain controller
  • Windows Server 2012 with the Remote Server Administration Tools for AD DS and AD LDS installed.
  • Windows® 8 with the Remote Server Administration Tools for AD DS and AD LDS installed.

Installing the Active Directory Module for Windows PowerShell

The Active Directory Module for Windows PowerShell is installed by default when the AD DS server role is installed on a server that runs Windows Server 2012 . No additional steps are required other than adding the server role. You can also install the Active Directory Module on a server that runs Windows Server 2012 by installing the Remote Server Administration Tools, and you can install the Active Directory Module on a computer running Windows 8 by downloading and installing the Remote Server Administrative Tools (RSAT). See Instructionsfor installation steps.

Scenarios for testing Windows PowerShell for Active Directory replication and topology management cmdlets

The following scenarios are designed for administrators to familiarize themselves with the new management cmdlets:

  • Get a list of all domain controllers and their corresponding sites

  • Manage replication topology

  • View replication status and information

Lab Requirements

  • Two Windows Server 2012 domain controllers: DC1 and DC2 that are part of the contoso.com domain and reside in the CORPORATE site within that domain.

View domain controllers and their sites

In this step, you will use the Active Directory Module for Windows PowerShell to view the existing domain controllers and the replication topology for the domain.

To complete the steps in the following procedures, you must be a member of the Domain Admins group or have equivalent permissions.

To view all Active Directory sites

  1. On DC1, click Windows PowerShell on the taskbar.

  2. Type the following command:

    Get-ADReplicationSite -Filter *

    This returns detailed information about each site. The Filter parameter is used throughout Active Directory PowerShell cmdlets to limit the list of objects returned. In this case, the asterisk (*) indicates all site objects.

    TIP

    You can use the Tab key to auto-complete commands in Windows PowerShell.

    Example: Type Get-ADRep and press Tab multiple times to skip through the matching commands until you reach Get-ADReplicationSite. Auto-complete also works for parameter names such as Filter.

    To format the output from the Get-ADReplicationSite command as a table and limit the display to specific fields, you can pipe the output to the Format-Table command (or "ft" for short):

    Get-ADReplicationSite -Filter * | ft Name

    This returns a shorter version of the site list, including only the Name field.

To produce a table of all domain controllers

  • Type the following command at the Active Directory module for Windows PowerShell prompt:

    Get-ADDomainController -Filter * | ft Hostname,Site

    This command returns the domain controllers host name as well as their site associations.

Manage replication topology

In the previous step, after running the command, Get-ADDomainController -Filter * | ft Hostname,Site, DC2 was listed as part of the CORPORATE site. In the procedures below, you will create a new branch office site, BRANCH1, create a new site link, set the site link cost and replication frequency and then move DC2 to BRANCH1.

To complete the steps in the following procedures, you must be a member of the Domain Admins group or have equivalent permissions.

To create a new site

  • Type the following command at the Active Directory module for Windows PowerShell prompt:

    New-ADReplicationSite BRANCH1

    This command creates the new branch office site, branch1.

  • Type the following command at the Active Directory module for Windows PowerShell prompt:

    New-ADReplicationSiteLink 'CORPORATE-BRANCH1' -SitesIncluded CORPORATE,BRANCH1 -OtherAttributes @{'options'=1}

    This command created the site link to BRANCH1 and turned on the change notification process.

    TIP

    Use Tab to auto-complete parameter names such as -SitesIncluded and -OtherAttributes rather than typing them out manually.

  • Type the following command at the Active Directory module for Windows PowerShell prompt:

    Set-ADReplicationSiteLink CORPORATE-BRANCH1 -Cost 100 -ReplicationFrequencyInMinutes 15

    This command sets the site link cost to BRANCH1 at 100 and set the replication frequency with the site to 15 minutes.

To move a domain controller to a different site

  • Type the following command at the Active Directory module for Windows PowerShell prompt:

    Get-ADDomainController DC2 | Move-ADDirectoryServer -Site BRANCH1

    This command moves the domain controller, DC2 to the BRANCH1 site.

Verification

  • Click Server Manager, click Tools and then click Active Directory Sites and Services and verify the following:

    Verify that the BRANCH1 site contains all of the correct values from the Windows PowerShell commands.

    Verify the CORPORATE-BRANCH1 site link is created and connects the BRANCH1 and CORPORATE sites.

    Verify DC2 is now in the BRANCH1 site. Alternatively, you can open the Active Directory Module for Windows PowerShell and type the following command to verify DC2 is now in the BRANCH1 site: Get-ADDomainController -Filter * | ft Hostname,Site.

View replication status information

In the following procedures, you will use one of the Windows PowerShell for Active Directory replication and management cmdlets, Get-ADReplicationUpToDatenessVectorTable DC1, to produce a simple replication report using the up-to-dateness vector table maintained by each domain controller. This up-to-dateness vector table keeps track of the highest originating write USN seen from each domain controller in the forest.

To complete the steps in the following procedures, you must be a member of the Domain Admins group or have equivalent permissions.

To view the up-to-dateness vector table for a single domain controller

  1. Type the following command at the Active Directory module for Windows PowerShell prompt:

    Get-ADReplicationUpToDatenessVectorTable DC1

    This shows a list of the highest USNs seen by DC1 for every domain controller in the forest. The Server value refers to the server maintaining the table, in this case DC1. The Partner value refers to the replication partner (direct or indirect) on which changes were made. The UsnFilter value is the highest USN seen by DC1 from Partner. If a new domain controller is added to the forest, it will not appear in DC1's table until DC1 receives a change that originated from the new domain.

To view the up-to-dateness vector table for all domain controllers in a domain

  1. Type the following command at the Active Directory module for Windows PowerShell prompt:

    Get-ADReplicationUpToDatenessVectorTable * | sort Partner,Server | ft Partner,Server,UsnFilter

    This command replaces DC1 with *, thus collecting the up-to-dateness vector table data from all domain controllers. The data is sorted by Partner and Server and then displayed in a table.

    The sorting allows you to easily compare the last USN seen by each domain controller for a given replication partner. This is a quick way to check that replication is occurring across your environment. If replication is working correctly, the UsnFilter values reported for a given replication partner should be fairly similar across all domain controllers.

See Also

Advanced Active Directory Replication and Topology Management Using Windows PowerShell (Level 200)

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