Checking the Health of your ActiveDirectory EnvironmentStanley Lopez, Senior Premier Field EngineerFebruary 24, 2012
Overview of PFEPremier Field Engineering (PFE) provides technicalleadership for Microsoft’s Premier customers around thewo...
MicrosoftDriving Operations Excellence                                                                                    ...
Is Your AD Healthy? Major Components of Active Directory Active Directory Replication SYSVOL Replication Name Resolution D...
Microsoft ConfidentialMajor Components of Active Directory           Active Directory             Replication             ...
Microsoft ConfidentialActive Directory Replication            Active Directory              Replication               SYSV...
Active Directory Replication 101 Active Directory Replication    Synchronizes changes between domain controllers in a mult...
Directory Partition Replicas                            Global CatalogueActive Directory Database                         ...
Replication Topology                                                                ISTG                                  ...
Inter-site Replication Topology  Connections         A one-way, inbound route from one DC, the source to another DC, the d...
Things to note…   KCC vs. Manually created connection objects      No automatic fail-over for manually created connection ...
Checking Replication   Repadmin   Active Directory Sites and Services   Event viewer   DCDiag   Replmon   Active Directory...
AD Replication Best Practices   Verify Forest-wide replication status at least once a week and prior   to making major cha...
Microsoft ConfidentialSYSVOL Replication           Active Directory             Replication              SYSVOL           ...
SYSVOL Replication   File Replication Services   Distributed File Replication Services                              15
Checking SYSVOL replication  Verify dependent services are functioning    Name Resolution    AD Replication  Review FRS st...
Common pitfalls for FRS   Replication/FRS failures undetected     Journal Wrap failures     FRS service not running     Im...
FRS best practices  Proactively monitor AD and FRS replication  Monitor the event logs for FRS regularly for FRS errors,  ...
DFRS Best Practices   DFS Replication is a multi-master replication engine, this means that changes can be   made on all l...
Microsoft ConfidentialName Resolution           Active Directory             Replication              SYSVOL              ...
DNS 101  Domain Name System    Provides name resolution service  Used by    Client & applications – for locating DC as wel...
What needs to be in place for AD to functionproperly   TCP/IP Configurations   Domain Controllers must be configured with ...
Records Registered by DCs   Host (A) record     IP Address of domain controllers     Registered by DHCP Client     Registe...
Checking your DNS  Verify TCP/IP configurations    IPConfig  Verify DNS server functionality    NSLookup    DCDiag /test:D...
Common Pitfalls   Administrators not familiar/aware of name resolution   design   Invalid(Stale) TCP/IP, forwarders, deleg...
DNS Best Practices   Audit DNS entries used by DC replication with DNS on a   monthly basis   Ensure that disconnected NIC...
Microsoft ConfidentialMajor Components of Active Directory           Active Directory             Replication             ...
Domain Controller Health   Service Pack level   When was the last time your DC was restarted?   Event Logs      How often ...
Common Pitfalls   Potential Failures not detected     Service Failing     DC experiencing bottleneck     System running lo...
Best Practices   Run DCDiag on a weekly basis to verify the overall well-   being of domain controllers   Review event log...
Microsoft ConfidentialMajor Components of Active Directory           Active Directory             Replication             ...
Disaster Recovery   Loss of DCs   Loss of data   Re-introduction of lingering objects   Loss of configuration partition da...
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Checking the health of your active directory enviornment

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  • New Features supported in Version 2.0:



    Ø Monitor AD Replication based on schedules

    Ø Check and troubleshoot Replication issues for all or individual Domain Controllers

    Ø Check Orphaned Domain Controllers, if any

    Ø Individual Naming Context Replication Status

    Ø Easy navigation of Objects in Objects Pane

    Ø Execute Individual Columns

    Ø Populate Instance Groups in Object Pane

    Ø Add Site/DC Manually

    Ø Save Session in local database

    Ø Switch to Monitoring and Console Version at any time

    Ø Check Error or Warning Events on Domain controllers

    Ø Perform DNS Test, check SOA, NA, and Forwarders

    Ø DC Event Log Tests

    Ø DC Patch Status

    Ø Network Configuration on the Destination Domain Controllers

    Ø Easily check Status of Domain Controller Services

    Ø Check AD Pending Replication Jobs and Naming Contexts in Sync

    Ø 164 Dynamic Columns for Server Object available
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  • Active Directory Health Check and Repadmin

    http://pdtechguru.wordpress.com/2012/10/04/active-directory-health-check/
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Checking the health of your active directory enviornment

  1. 1. Checking the Health of your ActiveDirectory EnvironmentStanley Lopez, Senior Premier Field EngineerFebruary 24, 2012
  2. 2. Overview of PFEPremier Field Engineering (PFE) provides technicalleadership for Microsoft’s Premier customers around theworld to promote health in their IT environments throughonsite, remote and dedicated support services. Envision Canada WE UK CEE Project GCR Planning US France Germany Japan Build MEA Latam India APAC Stabilize Deploy Operate
  3. 3. MicrosoftDriving Operations Excellence Confidential Get Healthy Stay Healthy Assess Plan Stabilize Educate Prevent Optimize Desired Service Level Configuration • Active Management Management Directory, ADRAP Proactive Exchange & Troubleshooti Service Remediation Monitoring Windows Operation ng & Disaster Catalog Management Server Risk Strategic Recovery Design * Dedicated Software Assessment Review Workshop Support Update & Health Capacity Engineer for Management Check Messaging Roles & Management Exchange & • Monthly Program - Service Map Knowledge Windows Hot Fix ADRAP Management Servers Change and Configuration Operations Management RAP Ready for Business & Mission Critical Support 3
  4. 4. Is Your AD Healthy? Major Components of Active Directory Active Directory Replication SYSVOL Replication Name Resolution Domain Controller health Why DR is important for AD
  5. 5. Microsoft ConfidentialMajor Components of Active Directory Active Directory Replication SYSVOL Domain Controller Replication Health Name Resolution Disaster Recovery 5
  6. 6. Microsoft ConfidentialActive Directory Replication Active Directory Replication SYSVOL Domain Controller Replication Health Name Resolution Disaster Recovery 6
  7. 7. Active Directory Replication 101 Active Directory Replication Synchronizes changes between domain controllers in a multi-master environment Ensures data stored on all domain controllers is consistent Replication Model and Benefits Multi-Master – Scalability, Reliability and High Availability Store and forward – Reduce communication over WAN Links Pull Replication – Request-Pull – Request consist of data already received State-based and Attribute Level Replication – Minimize replication traffic 7
  8. 8. Directory Partition Replicas Global CatalogueActive Directory Database Schema Forest-wide Replication NTDS.DIT Configuration Forest DNZ Zone Replication occurs at partition level Domain Domain-wide Replication Domain DNS Zone Domain Y Note: sometimes called as NC (Naming Context) 8
  9. 9. Replication Topology ISTG Site A Connection Object Subnets Site Link A-C Cost 100/Interval 180 Bridgehead Server Site Link A-B Cost 100/Interval 15 Bridgehead Server ISTG / ISTG Site C Site B 9
  10. 10. Inter-site Replication Topology Connections A one-way, inbound route from one DC, the source to another DC, the destination Site Define sets of DC that are well connected together, in terms of speed and cost A site contains one or more subnets A site can contain more than one domain and one domain can span more than one site Within a site, the replication topology is generated by KCC automatically Site Links Between sites, site link have to be established in order for the KCC (ISTG) to generate the topology across the sites Site link contains the schedule which determines when replication can take place as well as an assigned ‘cost’ Site Link Bridge When more than 2 sites are linked for replication and use the same transport, all of the site link are ‘bridged’ Site link bridge are ‘transitive’ Bridgehead Server Designated server to perform site-to-site replication, for each directory partition Bridgehead servers can be designated by the administrator or automatically assigned by KCC Inter-Site Topology Generator (ISTG) Within a site, KCC will run on each DC to generate the topology for the site Between sites, a DC will be designated as the ISTG to generate the topology for inter-site replication The first DC for the site automatically becomes the ISTG ISTG need not necessary be a bridge head server 10
  11. 11. Things to note… KCC vs. Manually created connection objects No automatic fail-over for manually created connection objects Directory partition connection One for Schema and Configuration, one for Domain Global Catalog Replication Connection required for ISTG to create inter-site topology Bridgehead Servers 2000 – One per domain/per site 2003 and above – more than one may be selected Subnets to site mapping Ensure that clients communicate with the ‘closest’ DC 11
  12. 12. Checking Replication Repadmin Active Directory Sites and Services Event viewer DCDiag Replmon Active Directory Topology Diagrammer (ADTD) 12
  13. 13. AD Replication Best Practices Verify Forest-wide replication status at least once a week and prior to making major changes that rely on directory replication Monitor ISTGs and Bridgehead servers more frequently DO NOT Fix DC that has not been replicating for more than TSL Restore backups more than the TSL Decrease TSL without proper understanding of the impact, unless there is a strong justification for it. Create manual connection objects unnecessarily Assign preferred bridgehead servers without both a compelling reason and thorough understanding of expected results Change default setting without a proper understanding of the implications 13
  14. 14. Microsoft ConfidentialSYSVOL Replication Active Directory Replication SYSVOL Domain Controller Replication Health Name Resolution Disaster Recovery 14
  15. 15. SYSVOL Replication File Replication Services Distributed File Replication Services 15
  16. 16. Checking SYSVOL replication Verify dependent services are functioning Name Resolution AD Replication Review FRS status SONAR Event Logs FRSDiag Review DFRS status DFS Replication has an in-box diagnostic report for the replication backlog, replication efficiency, and the number of files and folders in a given replication group Dfsrdiag.exe is a command-line tool that can generate a backlog count or trigger a propagation test. Both show the state of replication. 16
  17. 17. Common pitfalls for FRS Replication/FRS failures undetected Journal Wrap failures FRS service not running Improper decommissioning of domain controllers SYSVOL partition running out of disk space Storing non-group policy files in SYSVOL Configuring inappropriate permissions on SYSVOL folders Manual copying/deleting of files Improper use of D2/D4 Excessive Replication File system policy Anti-Virus Software Defragmenter Sharing Violation Files held open by applications 17
  18. 18. FRS best practices Proactively monitor AD and FRS replication Monitor the event logs for FRS regularly for FRS errors, sharing violations and excessive replication Clean up metadata of improperly decommissioned DC Do not stop FRS service for extended period of time Never copy files that live in the SYSVOL between DC, always try to troubleshoot why files aren’t replicating Use D2(Non-Authoritative) and D4(Authoritative) with care Do not configure file system policies on SYSVOL Do not scan or defrag SYSVOL Do not store non-group policy files in SYSVOL 18
  19. 19. DFRS Best Practices DFS Replication is a multi-master replication engine, this means that changes can be made on all locations. Do not make changes on one document on two locations at the same time, changes will not merge, the conflict is solved by using the last writer wins. Sharing violations -users open files and gain exclusive WRITE locks in order to modify their data- will prevent DFSR from replicating the modified file. Periodically those changes are written within NTFS by the application and the USN Change Journal is updated. DFSR Monitors that journal and will attempt to replicate the file, only to find that it cannot because the file is still open. An event will be logged if DFSR is repeatedly having troubles replicating open files. In the DFS Replication event log entries for 4302 and 4304 will appear. The option to adjust the replication schedule in DFSR management is greyed out. This is done because SYSVOL replication follows the same replication path and schedule as active directory. If the time window is open DFSR will replicate almost instantly. If the replication is not possible because of the schedule replication will start when the time window opens. This means that if AD replication is not permitted between 6:00 am and 10:00 am DFS Replication will also not replicate. As soon as the schedule allows replication, the changed files will be replicated. 19
  20. 20. Microsoft ConfidentialName Resolution Active Directory Replication SYSVOL Domain Controller Replication Health Name Resolution Disaster Recovery 20
  21. 21. DNS 101 Domain Name System Provides name resolution service Used by Client & applications – for locating DC as well as ‘services’ provided by DC Domain Controllers – for Active Directory Replication and File Replication Services 21
  22. 22. What needs to be in place for AD to functionproperly TCP/IP Configurations Domain Controllers must be configured with proper IP Address and pointing to valid DNS servers DNS Records Required records must be registered properly on DNS servers Servers must be functioning properly Forwarders/delegation/secondary, etc. must be configured properly and valid 22
  23. 23. Records Registered by DCs Host (A) record IP Address of domain controllers Registered by DHCP Client Registered by DNS Client on Windows 2008 Service Resource Record (SRV) Records Registered by Netlogon service on DC Used by clients/services to locate various type of services provided by domain controller GUID (CNAME) Record Required for AD Replication Registered only of forest root DNS server 23
  24. 24. Checking your DNS Verify TCP/IP configurations IPConfig Verify DNS server functionality NSLookup DCDiag /test:DNS DNS server console Event Logs Verify GUID and Glue Records DNSLint Re-register records Cycle Netlogon Cycle DHCP Client/DNS Client or IPConfig /RegisterDNS Capture Network Trace Netmon 24
  25. 25. Common Pitfalls Administrators not familiar/aware of name resolution design Invalid(Stale) TCP/IP, forwarders, delegation, etc. settings DCs pointing to external (invalid) DNS servers Single point of failure configurations DNS forwarder loop Zone Transfer not secured Dynamic update not enabled DNS scavenging not enabled Multi-homed domain controllers 25
  26. 26. DNS Best Practices Audit DNS entries used by DC replication with DNS on a monthly basis Ensure that disconnected NICs are disabled Adopt a standardized configuration for domain controllers and DNS servers Allow zone transfer to specific servers only Allow only secured dynamic updates Configure DNS Scavenging to remove stale records 26
  27. 27. Microsoft ConfidentialMajor Components of Active Directory Active Directory Replication SYSVOL Domain Controller Replication Health Name Resolution Disaster Recovery 27
  28. 28. Domain Controller Health Service Pack level When was the last time your DC was restarted? Event Logs How often do you review the logs for errors or warnings Is Time Synchronization configured properly in the environment (W32tm) 28
  29. 29. Common Pitfalls Potential Failures not detected Service Failing DC experiencing bottleneck System running low on disk space No proper management of event logs DCs running on outdated service pack DCs not patched with security updates Time Synchronization improperly configured 29
  30. 30. Best Practices Run DCDiag on a weekly basis to verify the overall well- being of domain controllers Review event logs on domain controllers regularly to uncover problems in the early stage Perform base-lining and regular monitoring of domain controllers to uncover any potential resource bottleneck Configure only the Forest root domain PDCe as NTP type server 30
  31. 31. Microsoft ConfidentialMajor Components of Active Directory Active Directory Replication SYSVOL Domain Controller Replication Health Name Resolution Disaster Recovery 31
  32. 32. Disaster Recovery Loss of DCs Loss of data Re-introduction of lingering objects Loss of configuration partition data 32
  33. 33. Questions?
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