Active directory revisited

By Bryan Muehlberger, ITworld |  How-to

Last week we began our discussion on Active directory (AD) sites and
replication. This week we are going to dive down into some of the
details of the replication process.

Since AD is based on the theory of multi-master replication, meaning
that every domain controller (DC) in a domain contains a fully readable
and writeable copy of the directory partitions, AD needs a way to manage
replication to ensure that any updates made on any of the DCs are
replicated to all other DCs in the domain. Additionally, the integrity
of the directory needs to be maintained - meaning that only the updates
that are intended to be kept are in fact kept. For example, if the
phone number attribute on a user account in AD is updated in two
different places, at approximately the same time, by two different
administrators in different locations within the company, AD must make
sure that only the latest update is applied and replicated out to the
other DC's.

In order for this change to propagate properly, a DC needs to
communicate the changes out to its replication partners. Replication
partners are a way in which AD minimizes replication traffic while at
the same time maintaining fault tolerance. Each DC has a special
relationship with at least two other DCs in their site that serve as
replication partners with each other.

Additionally, AD needs to keep track of the type of change that was
made. The two types of changes are "originating" updates or
"replicated" updates. A user or administrator makes originating
updates, and replicated updates are changes made to the directory by
another DC in the organization.

Next week we will dive into the key feature in AD that allows updates to
be replicated and updated properly

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