MSDTC transaction statistics show a large number of aggregated “Unknown” and “Total” transactions when viewed from a remote machine


Take the scenario whereby MSDTC is configured on Server A and allows remote administration. This means on server B you will be able to add Server A as a remote machine within the component services management snap-in. Once added you will be able to make administrative changes to the MSDTC on Server A from Server B, however it also means that you will be able to view the transaction lists and statistics for the MSDTC on Server A from Server B.


This statistical transaction information should be a duplication of what you would normally see locally, and instead of the information being sent from the MSDTC Transaction Manager on Server A to the Component Services UI on Server A it is sent from the MSDTC Transaction Manager on Server A to the Component Services UI on Server B.


In most scenarios this functionality works very well however there is a scenario where you will find a inconsistency. If Server A is for example a 64-bit version of the Microsoft Windows operating system and Server B is a 32-bit version of the Microsoft Windows operating system then you will see an inconsistency in the results displayed for the transaction statistic which could cause alarm. Likely from Server B, you will see a very large number of “Unknown” and “Total” transactions outcomes under the aggregate section; whereas from Server A you will not see the large number of unknown transaction outcomes and therefore the “Total” number of transaction will be less.


The cause of this issue is a problem in structures used when this information is passed back from the 64-Bit OS to the 32-Bit OS. It is simply a user interface issue and the underlying functionality of MSDTC is not affected. In conclusion, if you face this scenario you should trust the statistics shown from the user interface on the local machine where MSDTC is running over the results shown from the remote administration user interface.


Chris Forster

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