SCCM Replication Issue – SQL Replication Troubleshooting Guide

SCCM SQL Based Replication Troubleshooting guide to help IT Pros

SCCM Database replication issues are common when you have an SCCM hierarchy with CAS, Primary, or Secondary servers. Let’s check what the necessary troubleshooting steps an SCCM admin can perform are. SCCM replication issue is not very easy to troubleshoot via forums or offline.  The above SCCM Replication Issue troubleshooting video will help you fix some of the common SCCM replication issues.

1 SCCM SQL Replication?

SCCM SQL replication? Or is it SCCM SQL based replication? Yes, Umair mentioned in his post that it’s NOT SQL replication instead it’s SQL Based replication. Yes, yes I agree it’s not SQL replication, it’s Data Replication Service (DRS) introduced in SCCM 2012.  But why am I using SQL replication again? Because most of the SCCM admins don’t care about this is SQL replication or SQL based replication. But it’s just SQL replication for them (including me) 🙂

I can’t write or talk about SQL Service Broker (SSB) and Change Tracking along with Bulk copy program (BCP) because I don’t know anything about those SQL technologies. Let’s dive into some scenarios of SCCM Database Replication issues. I would recommend reading Umair blog (mentioned above) to get more details about the SCCM SQL replication or SCCM replication.

2 SCCM Replication Issue?

SCCM replication issue is critical most of the time because that can put SCCM infrastructure read-only mode. Think about a scenario, you can just view the objects in the console, but you can’t take any action. What will you do?

When you hit SCCM replication issue, you will have similar scenarios in child primary server. SCCM CAS server will be in maintenance mode, and it will be waiting for the primary server to send data.  This type of SCCM SQL replication issues can cause during SCCM in place upgrade scenarios as well.

3 SCCM Replication Groups

You can get more details about SCCM replication groups from my previous post “List of all Replication Groups and Article Names.” I have another post which talks about SCCM SQL based replication in details. I would recommend reading that to know more about replication groups and article names with examples – SCCM SQL Based Replication Guide.

4 What is SCCM Replication Link Analyzer (RLA)

The SCCM Replication Link Analyzer (RLA) is the first tool you should try to resolve or fix SCCM replication issue. You can launch SCCM replication link analyzer from:

  1. SCCM console Monitoring workspace
  2. Click the Database Replication Node
  3. Right-click the link that is having a problem
  4.  Select Replication Link Analyzer
  5. It may ask for username and password to connect to destination server if your user doesn’t have access to the destination server database
  6. Replication Link analyzer will check all the pre-configured checks and confirm whether everything is ok or not
  7. SCCM replication link analyzer will resolve the SCCM replication issue by  itself and provide you handful report
  8.  If the replication link analyzer didn’t help you to resolve to proceed with the next step in troubleshooting

5 SQL Management Studio – SCCM Replication Troubleshooting

You can use SQL management studio to perform next level of troubleshooting. SQL management studio will help you to understand the SQL backlog issues. It also helps you to understand the SCCM replication status of the server in your environment.

  1. CAS is in maintenance mode
  2. CAS is an Active mode
  3. Primary is in maintenance mode
  4. Primary is in Active mode

You can run “SPDiagDRS” from the SQL management studio to get more details about the SCCM replication issue. I have posted about SCCM SQL backlog issues “Troubleshoot SCCM SQL Backlog Issue.” I would recommend reading the previously mentioned post to get more helpful details. This post is applicable to SCCM CB versions (1802, 1806, or 1810) as well.

6 Monitoring Workspace – Database Replication Node

You can get more details about the replication groups or data which are failing to replication from SCCM console database replication node. The following views in console give more information about the flow between each replication group.

  1. Detailed view of the “Initialization Detail” in the console
  2. Detailed view of “Replication Detail” in the console

7 SCCM Replication Issue Troubleshooting with Logs

The following logs are using in SCCM replication issue.

  1. Rcmctrl.log – Records the activities of SQL database replication between SCCM sites in the hierarchy
  2. Sender.log – Records the activities in case of manual sync of replication groups. This manual replication can be done as part of troubleshooting with .PUB files.

At the time of SCCM 2007, If you need to perform manual sync between the CAS and Primary server, SCCM admin used .SHA files. I would recommend reading Sudheesh blog about SCCM .PUB file based manual SQL based replication. More details –   https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/sudheesn/2012/10/20/drs-initialization-in-configuration-manager-2012/

8 Resources

Microsoft Documentation on SCCM DRS Troubleshooting – https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/help/20033/troubleshoot-database-replication-service-in-mcm

SCCM DRS Process documentation  – Database Replication Links

More Details about SSB – SQL Team Article

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