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This chapter is from the book

Implementing WINS Replication

Plan a NetBIOS name resolution strategy.

  • Plan a WINS replication strategy.

In most environments that rely on WINS for name resolution for legacy systems, it is important to ensure that more than one WINS server exists so that you provide redundancy and availability. To ensure that each server has a current copy of the database, it is important to configure replication between your WINS servers. Let's quickly look at the different types of replication you can configure for the WINS service:

  • Pull replication—In pull replication, your server pulls the database from the replication partner. A pull replication is time based and occurs at the time you have configured. You can decide whether to establish a persistent connection for replication, and you can set the start time and interval for replication.

  • Push replication—In push replication, your server pushes its database to the replication partner. A push replication is event driven, and the number of database updates determines when the event occurs. You can decide whether to use a persistent connection for push activities, and you can set the number of changes in version ID before replication.

  • Replication partner type—The partner type can be push, pull, or push/pull, depending on your requirements. (In push/pull replication, database replication can occur using either method—push or pull.)

To configure WINS replication with another WINS server, perform the process outlined in Step by Step 3.1.


The following discussion about WINS assumes that you are already familiar with installing the service and performing basic management and configuration tasks. If you need a review, see Chapter 4 of Deploying Network Services, part of the Windows Server 2003 Deployment Kit at


WINS Replication Recall that one of the improvements in WINS since Windows NT 4.0 is the capability to maintain a persistent connection with one or more of the replication partners, enabling real-time replication. Because this is one of the new features of the WINS service, you will probably find it on the exam. Microsoft is more likely to test your familiarity with new features of the service than your understanding of the general WINS functionality because WINS has been part of the Windows server operating systems since its inception.


3.1 Configuring WINS Replication

  1. Open the WINS console by clicking Start, Programs, Administrative Tools, WINS.

  2. In the right pane, right-click Replication Partners and select New Replication Partner. The New Replication Partner dialog box opens, as shown in Figure 3.10, and asks you to enter the address of another WINS server. You can enter either the server name or IP address. If the server name cannot be resolved, you are prompted to enter the address of the server.

  3. Figure 3.10Figure 3.10 You can create a new replication partner by IP address or DNS name.

  4. Enter the name or IP address of the server and click OK.

  5. Click Replication Partners in the left pane of the WINS console. You should see your new replication partner in the right pane (see Figure 3.11).

  6. Figure 3.11Figure 3.11 All configured replication partners are listed here.

  7. Right-click the newly created replication partner. Then select Properties from the context menu to open the eplication partner Properties dialog box, as shown in Figure 3.12.

  8. Figure 3.12Figure 3.12 The General tab doesn't contain anything you can configure.

  9. Click the Advanced tab, shown in Figure 3.13. On this tab, you can configure the replication properties for the replication partner. You can choose from Push/Pull (the default), Push, or Pull. You can also specify the options to control how and when the replication is to occur. As discussed earlier, you should consider using a persistent connection because it will increase performance and decrease network usage.

  10. Figure 3.13Figure 3.13 On the Advanced tab, you can configure replication between your server and the selected partner.

  11. Click OK when the settings meet your requirements.

You have now configured replication with a WINS replication partner. Now let's look at the global replication properties that you can configure for replication on the WINS server. To review the global replication properties, open the WINS console application as described in Step by Step 3.1 and select the Replication Partners folder in the left pane. Right-click; then select Properties from the context menu to open the Replication Partners Properties dialog box, shown in Figure 3.14.

Figure 3.14Figure 3.14 On the General tab, you can control with whom your server replicates and what to do about static entries.

You can configure the replication properties for the server from the following four tabs:

  • General—The General tab allows you to restrict replication to configured replication partners as well as configure the server to allow the overwriting of static mappings on the server. If you have static mappings currently in use on your network, you can benefit from allowing the WINS server to overwrite these static mappings with their dynamic counterparts. This option serves to ensure that all records are up to date and computers and services are reachable.

  • Push Replication—As you can see in Figure 3.15, you can use the Push Replication tab to establish whether replication will start at system startup. You also can use this tab to establish when an address changes (and you can configure the number of changes required to trigger the push replication). Lastly, you can configure the server to use persistent connections for the push replication.

  • Figure 3.15Figure 3.15 On the Push Replication tab, you can configure how the server should perform push replication.

  • Pull Replication—As you can see in Figure 3.16, you can use the Pull Replication tab to establish whether pull replication starts at system startup, the time the replication should start, the interval between replications, and the number of times replication should be retried. Lastly, you can configure the server to use persistent connections for the pull replication.

  • Figure 3.16Figure 3.16 On the Pull Replication tab, you can configure how the server should perform pull replication.

  • Advanced—The Advanced tab, shown in Figure 3.17, allows you to configure a list of WINS servers that you want to allow or block from being able to replicate to your server. You can also specify that your WINS server is to configure itself to automatically replicate with other WINS servers that it discovers on the network. Be aware, though, that this option may be a security risk if you cannot account for all the WINS servers on your network. Also, because this option relies on multicasting, you may want to consider it only for small networks. If you configure this option, you also can configure the interval at which the WINS server will multicast as well as the time to live (TTL) for the multicast messages.

  • Figure 3.17Figure 3.17 On the Advanced tab, you can specify with which WINS servers your server will or will not replicate, among other items.

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