Distributed link tracking client sever

Summary


This article describes how you can use the Distributed Link Tracking services in Windows to track the creation and movement of linked files across NTFS-formatted volumes and servers.
Distributed link tracking client sever

An overview of Distributed Link Tracking

You can use the Distributed Link Tracking Server service and the Distributed Link Tracking Client service to track links to files on NTFS-formatted partitions. Distributed Link Tracking tracks links in scenarios where the link is made to a file on an NTFS volume, such as shell shortcuts and OLE links. If that file is renamed, moved to another volume on the same computer, moved to another computer, or moved in other similar scenarios, Windows uses Distributed Link Tracking to find the file. When you access a link that has moved, Distributed Link Tracking locates the link; you are unaware that the file has moved, or that Distributed Link Tracking is used to find the moved file.

Distributed Link Tracking consists of a client service and a server service. The Distributed Link Tracking Server service runs exclusively on Windows Server-based domain controllers. It stores information in Active Directory, and it provides services to help the Distributed Link Tracking Client service. The Distributed Link Tracking Client service runs on all Windows 2000-based and Microsoft Windows XP-based computers, including those in workgroup environments or those that are not in a workgroup. It provides the sole interaction with Distributed Link Tracking servers.

Distributed Link Tracking clients occasionally provide the Distributed Link Tracking Server service with information about file links, which the Distributed Link Tracking Server service stores in Active Directory. Distributed Link Tracking clients also may query the Distributed Link Tracking Server service for that information when a shell shortcut or an OLE link cannot be resolved. Distributed Link Tracking clients prompt the Distributed Link Tracking server to update links every 30 days. The Distributed Link Tracking Server service scavenges objects that have not been updated in 90 days

When a file that is referenced by a link is moved to another volume (on the same computer or on a different computer), the Distributed Link Tracking client notifies the Distributed Link Tracking server, which creates a linkTrackOMTEntry object in Active Directory. A linkTrackVolEntry object is created in Active Directory for every NTFS volume in the domain.

Note: In Windows Server 2008 and newer, the Distributed Link Tracking Server Service is not included in Windows anymore. So you can safely remove the objects from Active Directory.

Distributed Link Tracking and Active Directory

Distributed Link Tracking objects are replicated among all domain controllers in the domain that is hosting the computer account and all global catalog servers in the forest. The Distributed Link Tracking Server service creates objects in the following distinguished name path:

CN=FileLinks,CN=System,DC=domain name container of Active Directory

Distributed Link Tracking objects exist in the following two tables under the CN=FileLinks,CN=System folder:

  • CN=ObjectMoveTable,CN=FileLinks,CN=System,DC=domain name:

    This object stores information about linked files which have been moved in the domain.

  • CN=VolumeTable,CN=FileLinks,CN=System,DC=domain name:

    This object stores information about each NTFS volume in the domain.

Distributed Link Tracking objects consume very little space individually, but they can consume large amounts of space in Active Directory when they are allowed to accumulate over time.

If you disable Distributed Link Tracking and delete the Distributed Link Tracking objects from Active Directory, the following behavior may occur:

  • Active Directory database size may be reduced (this behavior occurs after the objects have been tombstoned and garbage collected, and after you perform an offline defragmentation procedure).
  • Replication traffic between domain controllers may be reduced.

Distributed Link Tracking Server service defaults on Windows Server-based domain controllers

In Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003, the start value for the Distributed Link Tracking Client service is set to Automatic. On Windows 2000-based servers, the Distributed Link Tracking Server service starts manually, by default. However, if you use Dcpromo.exe to promote a server to a domain, the Distributed Link Tracking Server service is configured to start automatically.

For Windows Server 2003-based servers, the Distributed Link Tracking Server service is disabled by default. When you use Dcpromo.exe to promote a server to a domain, the Distributed Link Tracking Server service is not configured to start automatically. When a Windows 2000-based domain controller is upgraded to Windows Server 2003, the Distributed Link Tracking Server service is also disabled during the upgrade. If you are an administrator and you want to use the Distributed Link Tracking Server service, you must either use Group Policy or you must manually set the service to start automatically. In addition, the Distributed Link Tracking Client service on computers that are running Windows Server 2003 or Windows XP SP1 does not try to use the Distributed Link Tracking Server service by default. If you want to configure those computers to take advantage of the Distributed Link Tracking Server service, enable the Allow Distributed Link Tracking clients to use domain resources policy setting. To do so, open the Computer Configuration/Administrative Templates/System node in Group Policy.

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Distributed link tracking client sever
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