DFS replication member server question

We are currently running DFS between several of our remote sites. We are basically using DFS to replicate the remote sites data back to our main office to be backed up. Right now all of our DFS replications are connected in a 1 to 1 topology. The replication group only consits of two servers, the remote file server and our file server in the main office.

We are preparing to deploy a new file server to another remote site which is in close proximity to one of our other remote sites. It is forseeable that users could on any given day be working at either office.

Right now the new file server that is going to be built is in the same office as an existing server that we are going to replicate data to. What we would like to do is set a replication group between these two servers and let them utilize the gigabit lan speed to perform their initial replication.

Once initial replication is complete we would move one of the servers to the new site which is connected via T1. There should only be minimal traffic since the initial replication was done already. Once the two servers are in the different site we would like to add a third member server into the replication group in our main office to be able to backup the data.

Hopefully my terrible drawing helps you visualize what Im trying to do

So now my questions

1. We are planning on adding the replication members in two steps to take advantage of the ability to use FULL bandwidth when in the same LAN. Once the servers are seperated we will use a throttled schedule. Do you see any problems with this?

2. Can you start a DFS replication group and then add a third member after its initial replication?

3. Any other information I should be aware of?
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Joseph DalyAsked:
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Joseph DalyAuthor Commented:
I forgot to mention in my original post we are planning on publishing a namespace for the replicated data in the three servers.
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Gunter17Commented:
In my experience this is the best way to do it. Set your servers together on the same LAN for initial replication, then separate them and throttle bandwidth so you dont saturate the internet pipe.

Yes, you should still be able to add replication members after the initial replication. (though you'll probably want to do the same with the new partner - have it replication LAN-side initially then move it offsite)
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Joseph DalyAuthor Commented:
The option to have the thrid member replicate LAN side is not possible as the sites are several thousand miles apart. This is the reason for the staged adding of members.

We can have the two servers in the same LAN replicate at full bandwith without an issue but we can not have the third server replicate over the WAN with full bandidth without causing major issues.
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Gunter17Commented:
Right, you will saturate your WAN pipe which is not good. How much data? Something to cover a full-T1's worth of bandwidth over a weekend maybe?
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Joseph DalyAuthor Commented:
The third server really isnt as much of a concern. We can poplate that using throttled bandwidth over a period of weeks if necessary. Right now we have been running on a schedule of Full bandwidth from 6pm to - 6am mon thru fri and full all weekend.

My main concern is adding the third replicated server after the fact. Just to clarify here when setting up the DFS replication we want to set it up as a multipurpose configuration rather than a backup configuration. Correct?
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Gunter17Commented:
Multipurpose = two or more servers
Data collection/backup = two servers

As your diagram dictated, I am assuming you want all company data replicated between each server, and available locally at each site. In this case you would use multipurpose.
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Joseph DalyAuthor Commented:
These are the two choices when setting up the DFS I believe choosing the first option is where we want to be.
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Gunter17Commented:
Correct
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