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Overcome file server latency between hub and branch offices

Posted on 2009-04-03
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Last Modified: 2013-11-14
What options are available for the following situation?
Setup:
"      1 hub office and several branch offices.  
"      1 central file server at the hub office with several volumes, including a shared drive.
"      1 server located on site at each branch office.
"      Issue with latency since the branch offices are so distant from the hub office.
Due to the latency issues we want to make one of the folders from the Hub file server available on the branch offices local file server (These folders are on the central file servers shared drive. We have tested DFS replication and that seemed to work well for the data replication from the central file server to the branch office file server).  

However, we want the users to be able to use their existing mapped shared drive on the hub file server and when they get down to the replicated folder have them directed to their local server (the server at the branch office).  If a user from the hub site does the same thing we want them to remain on the Hub file server and not be redirected to the branch office server which would defeat the purpose and create latency for the users at the hub office.
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Question by:MJBIRDSONG
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by:BigSchmuh
ID: 24070634
It looks like you want to minimize latency using DFS without modifying the current shares...

DFS allows many servers to replicate the same root folder (Replication occurs when each file close and use a minimum bandwidth using differential and compression algo)

Each client pc connects to a DFS using a \\DOMAIN\DfsEntryPointName\Share syntax
Only one of the server is responding to the client pc query...and it is not very clear which one, but you may batch check this is your local office one if needed

Now, you can not access a server shared folder outside of the DFS shares otherwise you will "corrupt" the shares. because some servers won't be notified of updates.

what I think is you have to do:
-create 1 root shared folder on 1 server on each site including all folders/files needed
-create a DFS share including all those shared folders
-modify the client pc connection script to include this new DFS share
-check that the elected local dfs server is the lowest latency one and use some batch command to force that if needed (while allowing to use another DFS server in case of failure ... at a high latency cost of course)
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by:MJBIRDSONG
ID: 24090757
Well, 1 problem with that solution is that we can not duplicate our entire shared drive at the branch offices.  We would only like to replicate 1 folder within the Shared directory.  That folder can easily use DFSR.  My main question is, what is the best way to make the system direct end-users to the folder at their site?
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by:BigSchmuh
ID: 24091051
The DFS in Win2003 R2 allows to choose a server based on "Cost" : that's it !
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Accepted Solution

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MJBIRDSONG earned 0 total points
ID: 24157585
Appearantly there is no workaround or solution for what we need to do.
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by:BigSchmuh
ID: 24157646
I don't understand why you can't:
-use DFS NameSpace to display a virtual directory to your users
-use DFS Replication to replicate some folders at branch locations

Do you have any bug with that ?
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Author Comment

by:MJBIRDSONG
ID: 24157742
Technically that would work, but that's not what we're looking to accomplish.  It's more complicated than that.  We want the branch office end users to map to the "current" shared drive, access all the data there on the hub file server except 1 folder.  That folder when selected (it is deep within the original shared drive) we want it to take them to the branch file server's local copy.  Another catch is that when the local hub office users perform the same action we want them to "not be" redirected.
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by:BigSchmuh
ID: 24158154
I am still unsure why you think this DFS R2 features do not cover your need.

However, I think that topic is valuable in EE KB

I would appreciate you to read the below EE recos before closing the question...
  http://www.experts-exchange.com/help.jsp?hi=405
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