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Windows Thread, Using DFS in 2003 for replicating home directories in Technical; I have just watched a small blogcast on DFS and how to set it up. I was very interested in ...
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    Kyle's Avatar
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    Using DFS in 2003 for replicating home directories

    I have just watched a small blogcast on DFS and how to set it up. I was very interested in this regarding our home directories. We all need 100% up time and this has given me ideas. I have a server which holds all the home directories for all the school, if this dies we are fubar for a few hours/days but with DFS would this not be the case.

    As understand it (and i am prob wrong) If i set the current path for the home directories for the first site name in DFS then could i point to another server with the same folder named shared and set it up as siteb? If so as soon as the two are linked will it replicate what is on site a to site b?

    Or have i git it totally wrong?

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    Re: Using DFS in 2003 for replicating home directories

    You could use DFS to replicate your home drives. We use DFS for other data but not home drives. Though I do use the DFS links for all mapped drives that way you can move data around with out people knowing.

    Create a new DFS Namespace so you end up with \\domain\DFSNamespace you then can create links from there ie programs (\\domain\DFSNamesspace\programs) the link would say point to \\server\programs$ say. Then add another link say to \\server2\programs$
    You then change the mapping to \\doamin\DFSNamesapce\programs... that way it gets load balanced.
    Few things to watch when replicating you may need to increase the staging space... keep an eye on the FRS event logs for it to stop the error tells you howto increase it. Other things is the filters.. by default it doesn’t replicate .bak .tmp and~* so you may need to change that.. we did since our office admin install point had a .bak file somewhere in the folder which didn’t replicate and then the deployment failed!!

    I haven’t replicated the home drives though but it would work the same.. my concern was the extra increased replication traffic
    We replicate our Programs Link our Pupils Data and Staff Data. I do map our home drive folders through the DFS so I can move them from one server to another by destroying and recreating the link should I need to.

    We don’t have two sites here so I am not entirely sure how that effects the replication

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    Re: Using DFS in 2003 for replicating home directories

    I don't know how fast your data changes but you might find that DFS (as in Windows 2000 and Windows 2003) is not up to the job. We replicate copies of CDs and drivers with DFS and it works fine but it's relatively slow (> 1 week to do an initial replication of about 250Gb)

    DFSR (2003 R2) is much faster and might be suitable.

    We have a "shared" drive that teachers can create folders in for handouts etc and all students can read. We tried replicating this with DFS and it was a disaster - this was partly because at the time we didn't have 100Mbit links between sites and also we hadn't configured the site choosing stuff properly. If you're single site then this is less of an issue and you're less likely to have 2 students sitting next to each other looking at the same drive and seeing different files!!

    If you do set it up then look at ultrasound and sonar (free downloads on the MS site) which will give you lots of info about how well it's working.

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