Windows 2003 DFS File Replication

Posted on 2009-05-04
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Hello, I have a folder in 12 of my locations that I want to replicate.  Currently they all have different content.  I have set up the replication and in general it seems to be working except that it doesn't seems like existing files from the "secondary" locations are being replicated into the "collection"

For example.. for locations L1, L2, L3..

L1 and L2 are replicating.. and I add L3.

L1 and L2 have files {L1.txt, L2.txt}
L3 has File {L3.txt}

When I add L3, the contents of the replication folder are moved to a folder called "NtFrs_PreExisting___See_EventLog"
and then once replication takes place.. L3 will only have files {L1.txt, L2.txt}

My intention would be for L1, L2, and L3  to have files {L1.txt, L2.txt, L3}

I can manually move the files from the "NtFrs_PreExisting___See_EventLog" folder to the replication folder and they will then replication across all locations.

The problem with this methodology is that one of our applications uses these files and they will be unavailable for a period of time.

If there is not resolution, how can I "trigger" replication to start immediately.  Right now AD replication occurs within 13-30 minutes, and I can force this using Sites and Services, but that doesn't seem to start the actual DFS replication. It can take several hours for it to start the process.

I know this is a loaded question, thank you for your time.
Question by:RPCIT
  • 3
LVL 14

Accepted Solution

theras2000 earned 250 total points
ID: 24297506
Well DFS and AD replication are all controlled by your Site Link in Sites & Services, so there's no other way to have it continually update, other than adjust this Site Link.  AD usually occurs quicker in the same domain than over a site link, but it's obviously up to the settings.Perhaps your sites are a few hops from each other, and therefore the time is adding up to get across a few links.

The idea of DFS replication folders is that you create a new folder that is solely for the purpose of replicating across sites.  When you have pre-existing files, it puts them in the pre-existing folder, to show you that it's not supposed to be.  So try setting up a brand new unique folder/share and move your files into it.  This is how it was intended.

Finally, DFS is not to be an instantaneous-replication environment.  It is supposed to be a shared folder that is sensiitive to sites and bandwidth settigns that have been preconfirgured.  If you want a file to be instantly available everywhere, you will have have to either set your site links to replicate quickly (highly unrecommended) or just put your file on 1 regular shared folder and access the shared folder frmo everywhere else.  Don't make this shared folder part of your DFS structure, leave it isolated.

Author Comment

ID: 24297623
Does this mean that the DFS replication is tied to AD replication time schedule?  It does not appear to be the case.  I have watched teh AD replication.. and that takes 15 - 30 mintues, (max 45 mins with an extra hop).  but even after AD replications occurs, it still takes another 1 - 2 hours for the "Frs-Staging" folder to start the actual replication process.  Is there a way to force this to occur on demand?

Assisted Solution

RightNL earned 250 total points
ID: 24297984

there's a few things wrong here..
1. DFS needs AD to have replicated the changes in the structure of the dfs before it can work.
2. there is a way to set the different locations to instant replication by creating multiple subnets in 1 site (but only do this if there's enough bandwidth)

The thing where this is going wrong is that a DFS has a Master server. and it will take all the files (excluded the filtered file's) and replicate those to the different sites and it will remove all the existing data.
once the replication has been completed the replication will work both ways but until that moment it's a 1 way initialitation.
the best way to setup a DFS is to create an empty folder on the server and setup replication. onces it's working test it with some files ..
then copy in the data 1 site at a time.
Also know that security changes have a 30 minute delay before it's replicated.

Author Comment

ID: 24298894
I guess that gives me the answers I needed.. not neccesarily the ones I wanted though..  Thanks.. I'm splitting the points

Author Closing Comment

ID: 31577650

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