how to make dfs (with replication) choose the target closest to the user

Hi all,

i have dfsr set up between 3 offices and when i open \\share\data and get my dfs roots when i go to properties > dfs > the sites are all displayed there but DC1 is set as the active, now does active mean thats the one the users on that server will go to?

so if i set DC2 as active all users of DC2 will go to that site to get their documents?
and the same for DC3

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yes you are right.
you have to configure AD so that the systems know, which server is on which site.
in german its AD Standorte und Dienste, that might be sites & service in english.

you configure the sites and the subnets
than you refer the subnets and the servers to the sites
now, when a user opens files from the dfs, he will be redirected to the server on his site

you have to configure the site replication connections for the AD as well
this has to match your vpn-infrastructure

awilderbeastAuthor Commented:
yeah i already have sites and services set up each site has its subnet and site links

but when i was at DC3 i went to a folders properties > dfs and DC2 was set as the active site

in dfs does active site mean the server where it will get files from?
did you place the servers in AD sites correctly?

is your dfs fully replicated?

you wrote \\share\data
just in case: you access via \\domainname\namesp\data, dont you?
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awilderbeastAuthor Commented:
Yup all in there for sure

\\domain.local\data is my path

just to confirm that in the dfs tab the server that is marked active is where you are getting the data for that folder from?

yes. this is the one you access.

if your ad is correct it should automatically choose the one on your site
do you need further help with configuring your AD?
awilderbeastAuthor Commented:
yeah, for some reason opening the \\domain.local\share at other users sites is soo slow for some reason

for example im on DC3 i open \\domain.local\share\accounts it sometimes times out or takes an age to open if i open \\DC3\accounts, it opens instantly

the only thing i could think of is that its opening a different site than the local site and its taking its tim eover our slow vpn

but i checked the DFS tab and DC3 is set as active,

does dfs use dns to locate the share path?
do i need to create a sperate dfs namespace for each DC?

DFS uses AD uses DNS
But if the DC3 is active in DFS tab, it should be allright.

Can you post some screenshots of your config?

Maybe a packettrace on the client would help to verify, wich machine answers the request?

There is a step-by-step-guide for DFS on technet. But i dont finde the link.
i found this here, with a quick look
it looks similair.
please check, if you did it like in this described

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do you need further help?
awilderbeastAuthor Commented:
ok i can verify that the correct dfs folder is been chosen now, but when i open \\domain.local\share theres a hell of a delay compared to opening \\DC1

what gets queried during this process and is there any way to speed it up?

hard to tell exactly.

maybe you have problems with dns resolving. do you have a dns on each site or just one for all?

what happens, when you access \\domain.local\share close it, when its open, and reopen it instantly?
the dns-information which server to choose should be cached. and if it opens faster it seems to be a dns problem. but if it doesnt, it doesnt mean, that there are no problems with dns. maybe the info is not cached and the slow dns-resolve starts again.

you can trace packages to see, whats happening during the time you are waiting and at which step there are problems.
so, if you see, that the pc you are on sends a dns-request, than there is a long time doing nothing, waiting for the reply and when the reply is there, the folder is opening instantly, you got it: dns
if it is not dns, but still accessing the wrong server, you should see it as well. you may see a long transfer from a different site.

awilderbeastAuthor Commented:
i have dns at each site on the domain controllers ive looked through dns though and i dont see any entries to do with the dfs share, where are they located in dns?

when i close it and open it, its instant.

theres a screen of the packet capture attached

PD-DC is the server that my machine would query for dns
CH-DC is the operations master (primary DNS server)

also quick side question, is there a way to view whats currently replicating?
say i had a big folder 2gb could i see the current transfer of that between sites?
and how can i check that the site are replicating against eachother?


ok, the responsetime is not that long. but there is a gap of nearly 10 seconds between the 2nd and 3rd query.
i try to compare this with our network, but maybe this takes a bit time :-) i am on holidays
awilderbeastAuthor Commented:
you had chance to see?

no not yet. heavy load after beeing absent for 2 weeks :-)

but i just wonder why there are 3 dns queries....
what happens in the meantime. i mean in the 10 seconds between the queries

after the last query, does the system load the data instantly?
awilderbeastAuthor Commented:
i sorted out AD sites and services making sure all ip ranges where associated with the right server and its almost instant now, so all is good :)

my pleasure!
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