Directory Services

Active Directory Replication Behavior

Replication behavior is consistent and predictable; given a set of changes to a given replica, the outcome can be predicted—the changes will be propagated to all other replicas. Devising a reliable general model for predicting when the changes will be applied at all other replicas, or at a particular replica, is impossible, because the future state of the distributed system as a whole cannot be known. This is called nondeterministic latency, and applications that use the directory must understand and allow for it.

The situation is not as complex at it might appear. There are only three states that an application must accommodate: