Jorge's Quest For Knowledge!

All About Identity And Security On-Premises And In The Cloud – It's Just Like An Addiction, The More You Have, The More You Want To Have!

(2006-08-28) Carlos’ Network Explorer

Posted by Jorge on 2006-08-28

Carlos created a tool called "Network Explorer". It is still in beta I guess (or even alpha), but here you can read a few words about it.

What is it?:

  • A tool (GUI) that allows you to view the configuration of your AD. The following can be viewed with this tool:
    • Forest and domain structure including DNS names of the forest and domains
    • Number of domains in the forests
    • The number of sites in the forest
    • The GCs in the forest
    • The DCs in the forest hosting the forest wide FSMOs
    • For each domain:
      • The domain controllers in the domain including replication information like:
      • The sites where each domain is located
      • All the GCs in the domain
      • The DCs in the domain hosting the domain wide FSMOs
    • For each domain controller in a domain:
      • Its DNS name
      • The OS of the DC
      • The IP address of the DC
      • The site the DC is in
      • If it hosts the GC role or not
      • The partitions (NCs) hosted by the DC
      • Its replication metadata like:
        • Inbound and outbound connections
        • Replication from/to
        • Transport type of the CO
        • If it is a auto/manual CO
        • Replication errors
        • Replication partners and the partitions replicated from those partners including other metadata
        • Metadata for a specified object as it is stored on that particular replica (like REPADMIN /SHOWOBJMETA)
  • The following would be welcome as new features/adjustments:
    • Ability to refresh the view of the configuration if changes have been made in AD. Now you will need to restart the tool
    • Ability to export the information, maybe into XML format
    • It crops the different panes in a strange way that some information may not be visible at all
    • Adding the additional TCP/IP settings like DNS, WINS, etc. to "The IP address of the DC"
    • Removal of the three TABS when a DC is selected as those TABS don’t do anything
    • "Replicate to" column for the inbound connections when replication information is selected should be "Replication from"
    • "Attribute Version" from the object metadata should be "Originating Change Time"
    • "Originating Change Time" from the object metadata should be "Attribute Version"
    • And it still contains bugs which would need to be removed (like: it crashes when a DC is not available)
    • It displays incorrect information for domains other than the forest root domain
    • I’m wondering if it contacts each and every single DC in the forest to query for its DC specific information…
    • It does not show replication errors correctly when compared with REPADMIN /SHOWREPL

Some screenshots so you guys can what I’m talking about….








Is it free and downloadable?:

  • About the free part… I don’t know. But I know for sure it is not downloadable as it is not production stable yet

Where can you start begging?:

* This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties and confers no rights!
* Always evaluate/test yourself before using/implementing this!
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6 Responses to “(2006-08-28) Carlos’ Network Explorer”

  1. tomek said

    I've tested some older version of Network Explrer and what I can say – this tool is nice 🙂 as all Carlos tools are 🙂

  2. carlos said

    Well it’s a long story really, it has not died actually a lot of development went into it. The first thing I noticed was when running it against a massive network (which I did) the UI would hang and become useless and windows would start ending the “Not responding” window.
    So I went ahead and made the application use threads which introduces a whole different ball game when it comes to handling updating user controls on the windows form and handeling errors. Also I had a few people testing the new version and it was a nightmare to debug the application so I added debugging features to the application which would allow me to collect information about the application.
    I am going to make the new version downloadable and THANKS for the feedback they are all EXCELLENT points 🙂
    So where are the posts about:
    1. SchemaExplorer
    2. Active Directory Power Tool
    3. Adam Instance Info


  3. Jorge said

    yeah, yeah…. one at a time 😉

  4. carlos said

    For some information it contacts each and every DC so the “crash” is the program needing to reach the time out (which is now helped by the different threads).

    What do you mean the replication info is not correct this is interesting cause it uses the exact same mechnism as repadmin.


  5. Jorge said

    Well… I shutdown a DC, forced replication on another…

    started your tool and it said: no errors

    REPADMIN reported RPC unavailable

  6. carlos said

    Hmm very interesting, can you send me the output please (repadmin) output.

    Thank you

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