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Active Directory Replication Troubleshooting

With Active Directory having a decentralized database, healthy replication is extremely important to ensuring it functions correctly.  Replication problems can lead to all sorts of issues, including authentication failures, machines falling off the domain, or worse.  Let's take a look at some ways to diagnose and troubleshoot basic replication problems.

Mitchell Grande by Mitchell Grande

Upcoming Windows Features

With the release of Windows Server 2019 getting closer, let's take a look at some of the upcoming features in the latest version of Windows Server: Storage Migration Service, System Insights, and Remote Desktop Modern Infrastructure.

Mitchell Grande by Mitchell Grande

PowerShell Basics - Loops

The final article in the PowerShell basics series will look at PowerShell loops and how to use them to interact with multiple objects.  We'll specifically use the Foreach-Object command to iterate through a group of results.  Finally, we’ll review command aliases to help you read and write PowerShell more efficiently.

Mitchell Grande by Mitchell Grande

Introduction to WMI

The average Windows administrator has come across WMI at least a few times, maybe while troubleshooting an issue or building out a monitoring solution.  WMI is a centralized repository of information within the Windows server, and understanding how to effectively use it can simplify some administrative tasks.

Mitchell Grande by Mitchell Grande

PowerShell Basics - Filtering and Selecting

The next topic in the PowerShell Basics series is focused on filtering and selecting PowerShell objects using the Where-Object and Select-Object commands.  Using these commands allows you to precisely define what items are displayed or acted on.

Mitchell Grande by Mitchell Grande

Using and Understanding DCDiag

DCDiag is the comprehensive, built-in utility for checking the health of an Active Directory Domain Controller.  This command runs 20+ checks against the selected DC including DNS health, replication health, general errors, and more.  Here, we'll look at how to use the command effectively and how to read its output.

Mitchell Grande by Mitchell Grande

AD Sites & Services

Configuring Active Directory Sites & Services is an important, but sometimes mishandled, part of administering a domain.  The information in Sites & Services is used by AD to create a replication topology, determine which DCs should authenticate clients, and help users connect to applications and services.  Sites & Services being misconfigured can result in increased logon times, poor user experience with some applications, or worse - a tombstoned DC if issues go undetected for too long.  Here, we'll review what the information in Sites & Services is used for, the correct way to set it up, and how to verify that it is configured correctly.
 

Mitchell Grande by Mitchell Grande

PowerShell Basics - The Pipeline

Continuing with our PowerShell basics series, the next important concept is the pipeline.  The pipeline refers to how PowerShell passes the result of one command to the input of another command.  Unlike other scripting languages that pass raw text, PowerShell passes full objects along the pipeline.  Remembering back to the previous topic, PowerShell objects are full representations of some type of item, like a file or user account.  By passing full objects down the pipeline, it is relatively easy to create fairly complex workflows.

Mitchell Grande by Mitchell Grande

PowerShell Basics - Command Structure

Although you've almost certainly used PowerShell by now, you may not be comfortable writing your own commands and scripts.  With PowerShell being the de facto scripting platform for Windows administration, being able to confidently write and execute your own scripts is an invaluable skill.  As networks get larger and larger, the need to increase efficiency is growing, and PowerShell will help get you there.  This is the first in a short series of tech tips to help get you up to speed and confident with PowerShell.

Mitchell Grande by Mitchell Grande

Domain Controller Selection

The process of a Windows client selecting an Active Directory domain controller isn't too complex but is often not fully understood.  Let's look at the way a member server chooses a DC and how this affects applications.

Mitchell Grande by Mitchell Grande