Microsoft's Active Directory Replication Status Tool

Yesterday, Microsoft released version 1.0 of their Active Directory Replication Status Tool (ADREPLSTATUS), which can be found here.

This tool is a nice GUI app that is similar to our friend repadmin.exe. This tool can be run from your workstation, and can analyze your entire Active Directory environment all at once, display any errors from multiple sources, export to excel, and just overall add an "easy button" to domain administration and troubleshooting.

It has a few pre-requisites:
1. You must be running Windows XP or newer, or Server 2003 or newer. If you are running Server 2008 or 2012, you must have the full desktop experience installed, as it will not run in Server Core.
2. You must have the .net framework 4 installed.
3. You must be running this from a domain joined computer with a domain user account.

Let's look at it a bit more after the jump:

Let's take a quick look at ADREPLSTATUS to familiarize ourselves with it.

Run the installer, and you'll have an icon on your desktop. When you run it, you'll get a pretty familiar "ribbon interface' looking screen with a few options. You can choose a full forest scan, do just the domain, or choose a particular server.

The ribbon bar and this left nav give you the same options.

If you were to select "Select Targets", the "Refresh Replication Status" button would turn into "Load Target Selector".

 Should you press that, the tool will do a quick scan of your environment and give you a list of Domain Controllers in another navigation pane. You can then select all or some of your DCs to scan.

For now, let's select the entire Forest,a nd click 'Refresh Replication Status" so we can take a look at the information that this tool can give us.

It will take a bit of time to do a full scan, but once it does, you will see the list of all your domain controllers and either a "success" or "failed" status. This only shows you whether or not the DC was scanned successfully, so if you are having a network blip, or one of your DCs is down, you will encounter errors.

Let's jump over into our "Replication Status Viewer" in the navigation bar.

This view will show us a very comprehensive list of all of our domain controllers, their replication partners, and whether or not the last replication succeeded. It will even drill down into the individual AD partitions to see if there might be an error that might not be impacting operations, but might turn into an issue later. These are all collapsible with the little "-" boxes next to the servers.

This will also show you whether your DCs are global catalogs, whether they are read-only domain controllers, and most importantly: WHEN the last sync occurred.

Additionally, this has the capability to show you on a single screen which DCs are replicating with which, so you can avoid the "uh oh" issue of a phantom DC in a secondary DR site or 2 person office in the boonies that was never setup for replication, causing issues such as this replication issue.

For a company such as ours, this tool can be invaluable when coming onsite to a client and needing to quickly get an overview of their Forest/Domain infrastructure, and can be a great visual tool for Directors and VPs to present to their peers. It's a heck of a lot better than a command prompt with repadmin.exe /showrepl I'll tell you that!

For the most part, the tool is self explanatory, it has links to TechNet articles, big icons for exporting the data, and the ability to re-import old data sets that were exported, so that they can be reviewed at a later time.

I hope you have fun with this tool, and thanks to MS for finally bringing it to us!

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