DFS Distributed File System Dilemma
Posted on 2006-05-30
I have agonized many hours, days, and months over this.
I am using DFS for fault tolerance. I have two domain controllers setup with Windows Server 2003. I have installed and have been using DFS effectively for months with file replication.
Problem #1 - To test fault tolerance I simulate my first DC failing by pulling out the network cable. I then log into my second DC. From here I open up DFS and there is no root listed. The main Root of the DFS is not found because my first DC is now offline.
Problem #2 - I realize the only way to make DFS truly fault tolerant is to enable DFS referral for all my links. However, when I do this then my users are opening files and saving, then someone else goes to work on the file and it hasn't yet replicated yet and there is an old version of the file without the new changes. Then the user saves that older version, and that old version replicates over the one with all the changes becuase it has a newer time stamp. Is there a way to enable DFS referral for fault tolerance but restrict users from only using a specific server for files unless that DC is down???
The reason why problem # 2 is serious is because I usually disable DFS referral so users won't be opening up different versions of the same file on different servers. However, now my system isn't fault tolerant because when my First DC goes down I cannot even get into DFS and see the root in Second DC to enable DFS referral. Why does the root disappear??
If anyone can answer this question, many points to them and I wish you 100 more years to live.