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3.1.1.1.9 DCs, usn Counters, and the Originating Update Stamp

The model defines the state of a DC as a tuple of type DC.

type DC = [
    serverGuid: GUID,
    invocationId: GUID,
    usn: 64-bit integer,
    prefixTable: PrefixTable,
    defaultNC: domain NC replica,
    configNC: config NC replica,
    schemaNC: schema NC replica,
    partialDomainNCs: set of partial domain NC replica,
    appNCs: set of application NC replica,
    pdcChangeLog: PDCChangeLog
    nt4ReplicationState: NT4ReplicationState
    ldapConnections: LDAPConnections,
    replicationQueue: ReplicationQueue,
    kccFailedConnections: KCCFailedConnections,
    kccFailedLinks: KCCFailedLinks,
    rpcClientContexts: RPCClientContexts,
    rpcOutgoingContexts: RPCOutgoingContexts,
    fLinkValueStampEnabled: boolean,
    nt4EmulatorEnabled: boolean,
    fEnableUpdates: boolean
    dnsRegistrationSettings: DNSRegistrationSettings
    minimumGetChangesRequestVersion: integer
    minimumGetChangesReplyVersion: integer
]

The variable dc is the only global variable in this specification. It contains the state of the DC.

dc: DC

serverGuid is initialized to a GUID when the dc is created and does not change thereafter. Section 6.1.1.2.2.1.2.1.1 describes the nTDSDSA object; serverGuid equals the objectGUID of the DC's nTDSDSA object. serverGuid is independent of the objectGUID of the computer object for the computer playing the role of this DC.

invocationId is initialized to a GUID that is generated by the DC when the dc is created. This GUID MUST NOT be the NULL GUID. The circumstances under which a DC changes its invocationId are outside the effects of the state model. A DC changes its invocationId when Active Directory is restored from a backup. Section 6.1.1.2.2.1.2.1.1 describes the nTDSDSA object; invocationId equals the invocationId of the DC's nTDSDSA object.

usn is a counter used in assigning replication metadata to every originating update to an NC replica in the DC, as detailed later in this section. The invocationId of dc's nTDSDSA object is an "epoch number" for usn; if an observer reads a dc at times t1 and t2 with t1 < t2, and invocationId is the same, then usn at time t1 is less than or equal to usn at time t2. If the invocationId has been changed between t1 and t2, the DC at t2 is treated as a different DC then at t1 for the purposes of replication, and the usn of the DC is not compared.

prefixTable is the PrefixTable used to translate all ATTRTYP values stored in this DC's NC replicas; section 3.1.1.2.6 specifies the translation process.

The default NCreplica of an AD DS DC, modeled as dc.defaultNC, is a domain NC replica of some domain NC in the forest. In an AD LDS DC, dc.defaultNC is null.

The fields dc.configNC and dc.schemaNC contain replicas of the forest's config NC and schema NC.

If dc is not an AD DS GC server (as determined by the state of the GC bit of the options attribute of the nTDSDSA object as specified in section 6.1.1.2.2.1.2.1.1), then dc.partialDomainNCs is null. Otherwise it contains a partial domain NC replica for each domain NC in the forest, excluding the default domain NC of dc.

The field dc.appNCs contains replicas of the application NCs hosted by the DC. An AD DS DC can be an RODC; [MS-DRSR] section 5.7, AmIRODC, specifies how this is determined by state in the config NC.

All NC replicas of an RODC are read-only; that is, they do not accept originating updates. In other DCs, all NC replicas are writable except for dc.partialDomainNCs, but writes to these NC replicas are controlled by the constraints and processing specifics described in section 3.1.1.5. Also, on an RODC the dc.defaultNC is a filtered partial domain NC replica. On other DCs, the dc.defaultNC is a full domain NC replica, and is the only full domain NC replica in the state of a DC.

The nt4ReplicationState and pdcChangeLog variables contain state used by the IDL_DRSGetNT4ChangeLog method ([MS-DRSR] section 4.1.11.3). Section 3.1.1.7 specifies the format of these variables and how they are maintained during state changes in AD DS.

The ldapConnections, replicationQueue, kccFailedConnections, kccFailedLinks, rpcClientContexts, and rpcOutgoingContexts fields of a DC are volatile state. Each volatile field is set to the empty sequence on server startup. The other fields are persistent state, updated using transactions.

The construction of the kccFailedConnections and kccFailedLinks fields of a DC are discussed in section 6.2. The construction of the replicationQueue, kccFailedConnections, and rpcOutgoingContexts fields are discussed in [MS-DRSR]. The construction of the fLinkValueStampEnabled field is described later in this section.

The nt4EmulatorEnabled field determines how the DC responds to a Mailslot Ping request, as described in section 6.3.5. The nt4EmulatorEnabled field is not configurable through the Active Directory. The nt4EmulatorEnabled field can be configured by an implementation-dependent mechanism. On Windows Server operating system, the field nt4EmulatorEnabled can be configured at the following registry key path:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\system\currentcontrolset\services\netlogon\parameters\NT4Emulator 

This registry value is of type REG_DWORD. If the value is 0 or not present, the field nt4EmulatorEnabled is set to FALSE; otherwise, the field is set to TRUE. By default, this registry value is not set.

The fEnableUpdates field determines whether or not a DC allows updates, as described in section 3.1.1.5.1.9. The field is initialized to TRUE.

The dnsRegistrationSettings field contains the settings that determine whether the DC registers DNS records (for the purpose of DC location), and which DNS records it registers. The field is of type DNSRegistrationSettings (section 6.3.1.10) and is initialized as described in section 6.3.1.10.

The minimumGetChangesRequestVersion field contains a value limiting the acceptable versions of the input message for a replication request. See [MS-DRSR] section 4.1.10.5.1. The value is set by DSA Heuristics (section 6.1.1.2.4.1.2).

The minimumGetChangesReplyVersion field contains a value limiting the acceptable versions of the output message for a replication request. See [MS-DRSR] section 4.1.10.5.18. The value is set by DSA Heuristics (section 6.1.1.2.4.1.2).

Each originating update on a DC creates replication metadata values (AttributeStamp and LinkValueStamp values), as will now be described.

AttributeStamp and LinkValueStamp values contain times read from the system clock of the server creating the value. If clocks on different DCs disagree by a significant fraction of the tombstone lifetime, then it is probable that different DCs will eventually disagree about whether some objects have been deleted or not; see section 3.1.1.1.15. DCs use Kerberos for mutual authentication, and Kerberos does not mutually authenticate two DCs whose clocks are more than 5 minutes out of sync. The tombstone lifetime is generally several months, so synchronization within 5 minutes is much better than required to avoid object lifetime issues.

The type AttributeStamp is defined authoritatively in [MS-DRSR] section 5.11. In summary, it is the following tuple.

AttributeStamp: [
    dwVersion: 32-bit Integer;
    timeChanged: 64-bit number of seconds
                 since January 1, 1601, 12:00:00am;
    uuidOriginating: GUID;
    usnOriginating: 64-bit Integer]

Similarly, the type LinkValueStamp is defined authoritatively in [MS-DRSR] section 5.117. In summary, it is an AttributeStamp tuple extended on the bottom with the following fields:

  • timeCreated: 64-bit number of seconds since January 1, 1601, 12:00:00 A.M.

  • timeDeleted: 64-bit number of seconds since January 1, 1601, 12:00:00 A.M.

An AttributeStampstamp is associated with all replicated attributes, except forward link attributes updated when the forest functional level is greater than DS_BEHAVIOR_WIN2000 or dc.fLinkValueStampEnabled is TRUE, that have ever had values on an object. For forward link attributes updated when the forest functional level is greater than DS_BEHAVIOR_WIN2000 or dc.fLinkValueStampEnabled is TRUE, a LinkValueStamp stamp is associated with each value of the attribute, both current link values and tombstoned link values. More details on tombstoned link values are given later in this section.

Together with forest functional level, dc.fLinkValueStampEnabled regulates whether a DC creates replication metadata for forward link attributes. dc.fLinkValueStampEnabled is initialized to TRUE when the forest functional level is greater than DS_BEHAVIOR_WIN2000. When the forest functional level is DS_BEHAVIOR_WIN2000, dc.fLinkValueStampEnabled is initialized to FALSE. When a DC receives an update containing LinkValueStamp values, it sets dc.fLinkValueStampEnabled to TRUE. (For more information, see [MS-DRSR] sections 4.1.10.5.5 and 4.1.10.6.1.)

When an originating write occurs, either the AttributeStamp or the LinkValueStamp of the attribute's value is updated, but not both. This chart specifies the conditions under which each is updated.

Attribute type

Forest functional level

AttributeStamp associated with the attribute

LinkValueStamp associated with the attribute's values

Any type of attribute other than a forward link attribute

Any

Updated

Not updated

Forward link attribute

DS_BEHAVIOR_WIN2000

Updated

Not updated

Forward link attribute

Greater than DS_BEHAVIOR_WIN2000

Not updated

Updated

Whether an attribute value has an AttributeStamp or LinkValueStamp depends on the state at the time of the originating update. The data model does not require an attribute to have an AttributeStamp or LinkValueStamp. If an attribute has never had a value, it will not have an AttributeStamp.

A forward link attribute will have an AttributeStamp if it is updated when the forest functional level is DS_BEHAVIOR_WIN2000. However, if the forest functional level is changed to be greater than DS_BEHAVIOR_WIN2000, then any further updates will cause the attribute's value to have a LinkValueStamp. The previously associated AttributeStamp of the attribute will be left unchanged.

On the other hand, if the attribute is a forward link attribute that was never updated when the forest functional level was DS_BEHAVIOR_WIN2000, it will not have an associated AttributeStamp. If a value of the attribute is updated when the forest functional level is greater than DS_BEHAVIOR_WIN2000, the attribute value will have a LinkValueStamp and the attribute will still not have an AttributeStamp.

Let o!a.stamp denote the AttributeStamp associated with replicated attribute a on object o. When an originating update creates or modifies replicated attribute a on object o, the value of o!a.stamp is determined as follows:

  • dwVersion: If the attribute did not exist on this object before the originating update (that is, an LDAP Add operation of this object, or an LDAP Modify operation creating the initial value of this attribute on this object), dwVersion equals one. Otherwise dwVersion equals o!a.stamp.dwVersion before the update, plus one.

  • timeChanged: The time of the originating update, according to the system clock on this DC.

  • uuidOriginating: the invocationId of the dc's nTDSDSA object.

  • usnOriginating: dc.usn.

Once a replicated attribute exists on an object, it will continue to exist for the lifetime of the object, in order to carry the stamp. If all values have been removed from the attribute, the attribute will be absent from the LDAP perspective, but it remains present in the state model in order to preserve the stamp. If a value is added to o!a and o!a.stamp exists, even if o!a had no values before the addition, the value of o!a.stamp.dwVersion is used as described previously in creating the new stamp's dwVersion.

Let o!a.r denote a single link value r that is part of a replicated forward link attribute a, and let o!a.r.stamp denote the LinkValueStamp associated with this value. An originating update cannot modify a single link value r that is part of a forward link attribute, except to delete it or to re-create it. A link value r is deleted, but exists as a tombstone, if r.stamp.timeDeleted ≠ 0. When the current time minus r.stamp.timeDeleted exceeds the tombstone lifetime, the link value r is garbage-collected; that is, removed from its containing forward link attribute.

When an originating update creates a link value r of a forward link attribute a of object o, the LinkValueStamp o!a.r.stamp is computed as follows:

  • dwVersion: 1.

  • timeChanged: The time of the originating update, according to the system clock on this DC.

  • uuidOriginating: the invocationId of dc's nTDSDSA object.

  • usnOriginating: dc.usn.

  • timeCreated: The time of the originating update, according to the system clock on this DC.

  • timeDeleted: Zeros.

When an originating update re-creates a link value r of a forward link attribute a of object o, that is, a create occurs when the same link value exists as a tombstone, the LinkValueStamp o!a.r.stamp is computed as follows:

  • dwVersion: o!a.r.stamp.dwVersion before the originating update, plus one.

  • timeChanged: The time of the originating update, according to the system clock on this DC.

  • uuidOriginating: the invocationId of dc's nTDSDSA object.

  • usnOriginating: dc.usn.

  • timeCreated: o!a.r.stamp.timeCreated before the originating update.

  • timeDeleted: Zeros.

When an originating update deletes a link value r of a forward link attribute a of object o, the LinkValueStamp o!a.r.stamp is computed as follows:

  • dwVersion: o!a.r.stamp.dwVersion before the originating update, plus one.

  • timeChanged: The time of the originating update, according to the system clock on this DC.

  • uuidOriginating: the invocationId of dc's nTDSDSA object.

  • usnOriginating: dc.usn.

  • timeCreated: o!a.r.stamp.timeCreated before the originating update.

  • timeDeleted: The time of the originating update, according to the system clock on this DC.

The stamp values created by originating updates are used by protocols described in [MS-DRSR]. Some stamp values maintained in this state model are not used by those protocols; see [MS-DRSR] section 4.1.10.5.6 (FilterAttribute) for specifics on the stamps that are filtered out.

When all updates associated with an originating update request are complete, the variable dc.usn is increased by at least one. Between originating updates, the variable dc.usn does not decrease.

The effects of an originating update are captured in the state model by committing a transaction. When the originating update is initiated by a protocol request, such as an LDAP Modify, the transaction is committed before sending the appropriate protocol response. The transaction has the ACID properties [GRAY] and provides at least degree 2 isolation of concurrent read and update requests [GRAY].

Each read request is performed as a transaction. When multiple read requests are used to retrieve a large set of results, each request is its own transaction. Section 3.1.1.5 specifies the transaction boundaries that are used for all originating updates. To preview: An originating update is almost always performed as a single transaction; a few are processed as multiple transactions. In some cases, an originating update request will cause transactions to occur after the response has been sent; section 3.1.1.5 specifies all cases where processing of an update continues after the response.

The following example illustrates the effects of originating updates on stamp values. In this example, the forest functional level is assumed to be greater than DS_BEHAVIOR_WIN2000, so LinkValueStamps are used for updates to forward link attributes. In the example, stamp values are represented as lists whose elements are the elements of the stamp, in the order listed in the type definition. Thus dwVersion is always first, and timeDeleted is last in a LinkValueStamp. An AttributeStamp is placed between the attribute's lDAPDisplayName and the first value, if any. A LinkValueStamp is placed immediately following the link value.

This example shows the stamp values on two attributes of a single group object: the description attribute and the member attribute (a forward link attribute). In the initial state neither attribute is present.

(
  "<GUID=5>;<SID=0x0105...94E1F2E6>;dc=microsoft,dc=com"
  . . .
  ( (objectGUID 6) (parent 2) (cn "DSYS")
    (objectClass top ... group) 
    (name "DSYS") (rdnType cn)
    (objectSid 0x0105...94E1F2E60B080000)
  )
)

An LDAP Modify adds a value for description. This DC's invocationId is 103, and its usn is 501 at the time of the originating update.

(
  "<GUID=5>;<SID=0x0105...94E1F2E6>;dc=microsoft,dc=com"
  . . .
  ( (objectGUID 6) (parent 2) (cn "DSYS")
    (objectClass top ... group) 
    (name "DSYS") (rdnType cn)
    (objectSid 0x0105...94E1F2E60B080000)
    (description (1 0x2FA9A74EA 103 501) "QWERTY")
  )
)

An LDAP Modify adds a value for member. This originating update occurred one second after the previous one, with no updates in between. This pattern continues for the rest of this example.

(
  "<GUID=5>;<SID=0x0105...94E1F2E6>;dc=microsoft,dc=com"
  . . .
  ( (objectGUID 6) (parent 2) (cn "DSYS")
    (objectClass top ... group) 
    (name "DSYS") (rdnType cn)
    (objectSid 0x0105...94E1F2E60B080000)
    (description (1 0x2FA9A74EA 103 501) "QWERTY")
    (member
      "<GUID=9>;<SID=0x0105...07080000>;
       cn=Peter Houston,ou=NTDEV,dc=microsoft,dc=com" 
      (1 0x2FA9A74EB 103 502 0x2FA9A74EB 0) )
  )
)

An LDAP Modify removes the values of both description and member.

(
  "<GUID=5>;<SID=0x0105...94E1F2E6>;dc=microsoft,dc=com"
  . . .
  ( (objectGUID 6) (parent 2) (cn "DSYS")
    (objectClass top ... group) 
    (name "DSYS") (rdnType cn)
    (objectSid 0x0105...94E1F2E60B080000)
    (description (2 0x2FA9A74EC 103 503) )
    (member
      "<GUID=9>;<SID=0x0105...07080000>;
       cn=Peter Houston,ou=NTDEV,dc=microsoft,dc=com" 
      (2 0x2FA9A74EC 103 503 0x2FA9A74EB 0x2FA9A74EC) )
  )
)

An LDAP Modify sets member back to the value it had before the previous update. The stamp it receives is not what it had before.

(
  "<GUID=5>;<SID=0x0105...94E1F2E6>;dc=microsoft,dc=com"
  . . .
  ( (objectGUID 6) (parent 2) (cn "DSYS")
    (objectClass top ... group) 
    (name "DSYS") (rdnType cn)
    (objectSid 0x0105...94E1F2E60B080000)
    (description (2 0x2FA9A74EC 103 503) )
    (member
      "<GUID=9>;<SID=0x0105...07080000>;
       cn=Peter Houston,ou=NTDEV,dc=microsoft,dc=com" 
      (3 0x2FA9A74ED 103 504 0x2FA9A74EB 0) )
  )
)

Finally, an LDAP Modify sets description to a new value.

(
  "<GUID=5>;<SID=0x0105...94E1F2E6>;dc=microsoft,dc=com"
  . . .
  ( (objectGUID 6) (parent 2) (cn "DSYS")
    (objectClass top ... group) 
    (name "DSYS") (rdnType cn)
    (objectSid 0x0105...94E1F2E60B080000)
    (description (3 0x2fa9a74ee 103 505) "SHRDLU")
    (member
      "<GUID=9>;<SID=0x0105...07080000>;
       cn=Peter Houston,ou=NTDEV,dc=microsoft,dc=com" 
      (3 0x2FA9A74ED 103 504 0x2FA9A74EB 0) )
  )
)
 
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