R2 DFS Replication - Initial Copy

Posted on 2006-05-26
Last Modified: 2008-01-09
In the new DFS Replication in Windows Server 2003 R2, is it possible to do an offline initial copy of all the data (200GB) to a remote server?  In other words, I don't want to use the WAN for the initial copy so I would bring the data to the remote site using a USB hard drive and robocopy it to its folder target.

In the past with FRS, you had to choose an initial master and this master would copy the data to the remote server regardless if the data already existed.

Has anyone tried it?  Any info or URL would be greatly appreciated.

Question by:plemieux72
    LVL 20

    Accepted Solution

    The state of a replicated folder can be one of the following: uninitialized, initialized, initial sync, auto recovery, normal, or in error. When first configured, a replicated folder moves to the initialized or initial sync state, depending on whether the server is defined as the primary member of the replicated folder. If the server is defined as a primary member, Distributed File System Replication (DFSR) automatically initializes the folder. In addition, content within the folder is authoritative. That is, the content will win on conflict with another member. If the server is defined as a non-primary member, DFSR on that member must first complete initial sync where its metadata (and data if necessary) is synchronized from a partner that is primary or has already completed initial sync.

    DFSR uses fence values to ensure that the correct version of a resource (file or folder) is replicated where there is a conflict. The fence values are also used in initial sync where the versions on the primary member override versions on the non-primary member. Note that copying the same file without the knowledge of DFSR (such as using xcopy) to its members prior to starting DFSR on the non-primary member (as is done for seeding) will result in the version on the upstream partner overwriting the version on the non-primary member. If the file hashes are identical, the file is not downloaded; otherwise, RDC is used to download the changed portions of the file. If the file was updated on the non-primary member while it is in initial sync state then the file is in conflict with its partner (update conflict) and the file will be moved to the Conflict and Deleted folder where RDC is still used.

    Take a look here for more info on DFS that should help you:
    LVL 10

    Author Comment

    Thanks!   That's a link I hadn't come across.  

    I tried the software on two servers separated by a slow unreliable satellite link with an initial copy taken physically to the remote site (mostly the same data on both sides with a few days of file differences)... replication completed within 24 hours and has been stable for about a week now.  No performance issues on either servers either.  DFSR is the way to go!

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