Customizing Site Connectivity in Visual Studio .NET

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Customizing Site Connectivity
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FIGURE 12-1 All new forests have this single IP site link, and all sites are joined to it by
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Core Site Link Attributes
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The three attributes of the core site link are the sites that are connected via the site link, cost, and replication interval
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Sites Connected Via the Link
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The most basic attribute of the core site link is the sites that are connected via the site link All sites are displayed; sites that are not currently in the site link are shown in the left box, and those that are in the site link are in the right box You can move sites into and out of the site link via the Add/Remove buttons
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Cost is one of the most vital settings for replication The cost tells AD the speed of the link that is connecting the sites or, more accurately, the available speed of the link that can be used for replication The lower the cost,
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the more preferred the link, and the faster the link, the lower the cost So what values should you use for the site link costs, based on speed There are two main schools of thoughts One is based on the following algorithm:
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Cost = 1024 log(Available Bandwidth [Kb])
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Table 12-1 presents common network speeds and the costs the algorithm would yield for them Table 12-1 Input and Outputs of Cost Algorithm
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Available Bandwidth (Kbps) Cost
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These values are a little dif cult to work with Another version of these values, shown in Table 12-2, is not as accurate but uses whole numbers and so is nicer to use If you have big differences in link speeds, then the simpli ed version works well, but if the links are closer in speed, the algorithm gives better values Table 12-2
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Simpli ed Version of the Cost Algorithm
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Available Bandwidth
>10Mbps 10Mbps to 1544Mbps 1544Mbps to 512Kbps 512Kbps to 128Kbps 128Kbps to 56Kbps <56Kbps
10 100 200 400 800 2,000
Customizing Site Connectivity
So now, based on the speed of the link or, more accurately, the bandwidth available you can ascertain a cost for a link
Replication Interval
By default, the site link replicates every 180 minutes, which is 3 hours This may be okay in some circumstances, but in other scenarios, replication between sites needs to happen more frequently The exact frequency depends on the requirements of the sites If a location is fairly isolated in terms of object creation and resource access, it may not need to replicate frequently However, if a site is managed via the central location and changes need to reach the client more frequently, the replication interval should be reduced Fifteen minutes is the minimum replication interval Remember that password changes are handled outside this replication because password changes are pushed to the PDC (primary domain controller) FSMO emulator In the event of a password authentication failure, the DC asks the PDC FSMO to verify that the password is wrong Notice that the site link properties page includes a Change Schedule button Press it and a dialog appears, showing a grid for all the various hours of the days of the week, as shown in Figure 12-2 By default, all hours of the week are available for replication However, hours can be unselected, which means replication cannot occur over those hours This would be useful for locations where the bandwidth at certain times should not be used for replication For example, the link could be con gured to be unavailable between 9 am and 5 pm, and then replication would occur during the evening hours
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FIGURE 12-2 There is a box for every hour of each day of the week
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Managing Site Topology
After you have decided on the site links you want in your environment, rst rename DEFAULTIPSITELINK to something more meaningful Ensure that only the sites you want are in the site link and that the cost, schedule, and so on are correct Another option is to get all the sites you want in the environment and then just delete DEFAULTIPSITELINK; either way, just make sure it s gone For now, create the site links you want and then delete DEFAULTIPSITELINK It s important to get the site topology up and running before you start adding domain controllers to the environment Until the site links are de ned correctly and the replication schedule is con gured, by default, replication occurs only every three hours To create a new site link, right-click IP under Inter-Site Transports and select New Site Link The New Object - Site Link dialog appears Initially, the only con guration item is to select the sites that are connected via the site link Because it s a site link, select at least two sites to be part of the site link Select the links from the left side of the dialog, as shown in Figure 123, and click the Add button to make them part of the site link Also provide a name for the site link; make it something that s easily distinguishable for the sites that are part of the link, such as SiteA-SiteB, and then click OK