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Distributed File System

I work in a k-12 school system.  There are five different sites, plus the board office.  We are a Microsoft shop with 2003 servers.  Each site has its own server which stores the user profiles.

We have set up back ups for each of the profiles servers at the respective sites.

This system seems perfectly addressed by DFS.  Wouldn't it be better to set up DFS, thus being able to do one back-up?  

What questions to do I need to ask myself?

Thanks in advance.
2 Solutions
Someone else out here may be more familiar with DFS Backup than I, but from what I understand, running a single backup in the manner you have described is extremely time consuming AND can be a bugger when restoring. From what I can gather, just backing-up the DFS Namespace would be the best bet along WITH your current backup. Apparently their is a dfscmd from the command prompt that can be run to back-up your namespace to a text file - which can be imported during restoral of the DFS Root Server.

Again, someone else may have some better ideas however.
I think the main question is bandwidth....will you create a bottleneck trying to replicate ?? number of user profiles back to HQ.

I do agree with your line of thinking though - we use DFS at our place for just that reason. 4 remote offices + HQ and we want a centralized backup procedure.

I think another important question is this - can you afford upgrading your 2003 Servers to R2? The DFS included with the R2 version is so much better than before I think it's well worth it.....main benefit being the way replication is now handled (DFSR). Previously if a file changed the whole thing had to be replicated again....now the DFSR utilizes remote differential compression (RDC) which allows for only changes to the files to be replicated. Along with bandwidth control, replication scheduling, etc....the new replication method is much more solid.

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