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Managing and Monitoring WINS

Most management and monitoring tasks can be performed within the WINS management console. Most of the maintenance tasks performed will be to the WINS database, such as ensuring it is backed up in the event it becomes corrupt, and ensuring the database remains consistent over a period of time.

Backing Up and Restoring the WINS Database

Through the WINS management console, you can configure a WINS server to periodically back up its local database. From the WIN Sserver properties window, you can specify a backup location. You can also right-click the WINS server and select the Backup database option.

After you specify a backup location the WINS server will create the Wins_bak\NewFolder within the location you specify and back up the local database to this location every three hours. You also have the option of selecting whether the WINS server should perform a backup when the server is shut down.

If you have a backup of the WINS database, you can restore it by right-clicking the WINS server, choosing the Restore Database option, and specifying the location of folder where the database was backed up to. Keep in mind that before you perform a restore, the WINS service must be stopped. If the WINS service is running, the option to restore the database will not be available.

Server Statistics

Viewing the statistics of a WINS server can provide an administrator with a general idea of what is happening. Within the WINS management console, you can right-click the WINS server and select the Display Server Statistics option. Some of the information provided includes when the server was last started, when replication last took place, and the number of name queries resolved.

Tombstoning

Records that are deleted or marked as extinct on one server can cause inconsistencies to the database of its replication partners. For example, a record that was deleted from the database on one server can easily still appear within the database of a replication partner.

Windows Server 2003 supports a feature known as tombstoning. After a record is marked as tombstoned it is no longer considered to be active on the local WINS server. The record remains within the local database for replication purposes. When a tombstoned record is replicated, all replication partners mark the record as being tombstoned and it becomes extinct, eventually being removed from the database.

Records within the WINS database can be manually deleted or tombstoned using the following process:

  1. Within the WINS console, right-click the Active Registrations container and click either the Find by Name or Find by Owner option to locate the appropriate record.
  2. If you select Find by Name, type in the NetBIOS name you are searching for. If you select Find by Owner, specify whether to have all entries in the local WINS database displayed or records from a specific WINS server. Click Find Now.
  3. In the Details pane right-click the appropriate record and click Delete.
  4. Within the Delete Record dialog box select one of the following options: Delete the Record Only from this Server or Replicate Deletion of the Record to Other Servers (Tombstone).

Verifying Database Consistency

With multiple WINS servers configured for replication, a WINS database can become inconsistent over a period of time. Using the Verify Database Consistency and Verify Version ID Consistency options, an administrator can periodically perform database consistency checks. Checking the WINS database for inconsistencies will force the local WINS server to check all names replicated from other WINS servers and compare them with the local versions on the servers that own the records. The WINS server will then update its local records.

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