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File synch over Site to Site VPN

Hi I have 3 sites connected via site to site VPN - using Sonicwall NSA 2400 firewalls
Site A - 50 users is my primary main site which has my Windows 2008 File Server/DC/DNS for shared data and user data
Site B is a remote office, which has 20 users - I have copied all the data from site A to Site B Windows 2003 Server, its as well a DC -
Now site B users want to me able to user the shared files from there server at Site B - but we need to keep the data from both servers in sync with one another - during day copy over changes, vice versa...
any idea how this can be done?
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nutekconsultants
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nutekconsultants
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Joseph DalyCommented:
Sounds to me like you want to think about setting up a DFS configuration.

Below is the first part of a really good document on DFS. If you check on the site there are links to the remainder of the documents.
http://www.petri.co.il/planning-dfs-architecture-part-one.htm

The good thing about a DFS architecture is that if you configure the users to access the shares via a DFS namepsace they will be automatically directed to the "closest" replica of the data if they move between the offices.
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Joseph DalyCommented:
That windows networking site also has a very good set of articles on DFS inlcuding the namespaces i mentioned above.

http://www.windowsnetworking.com/articles_tutorials/Configuring-Using-DFS-Replication.html
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nutekconsultantsAuthor Commented:
just another question
my main branch Site A File Server is Windows 2008 Domain controller, which is itself the File Server as posted originally... the satellite servers are Windows 2003... there will be no issue?
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hutnorCommented:
As long as the connection is up they can still use DFS without any erors. If the connects drops out it will just replicate once it is reconnected.

You may have a lot of traffic is many files are changing at once. You may want to delay replication until late night.
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nutekconsultantsAuthor Commented:
so by the looks of it DFS is the way to go
other options I was given was
1. rsynch
2. robocopy
3. filecopy...

all of which I am not too fond of, I will explore the DFS strageties.

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Joseph DalyCommented:
The 3 products you just mentioned will work but they will not be a continous sync. DFS is continuously monitoring for file changes during the day. When it notices that files have changed it will find the changes and replicate them across.

One reccomendation is to make the staging area as large as possible it improves replication.
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nutekconsultantsAuthor Commented:
I am just in the midst of testing this DFS out,
my current production 2008 Server has a Shared Folder that has many folders within it that are restricted, not everyone has full access to the folders within the shared folder
Question - can I "enable" in DFS to make the shared folder available in DFS, will it also take all the permissions with it? to the 2003 server over the VPN.?


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Joseph DalyCommented:
When you set up a folder to be replicated via DFS it should automatically carry over the properties of the original folder. Basically you should end up with a mirror image of the original folder on the 2003 box.

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nutekconsultantsAuthor Commented:
ok... abit of an error here
as my DC is Windows 2008, I installed DFS as the default settings, DFS namespace, DFS replication...
as my other DC is 2003, i just read that I should've unchecked this setting, and instead of installing the above, I should installed Win2k3 File replication Service... and not DFS.

as now I cannot go back to uninsall Win2k8 DFS, can I just install 2003 FRS?

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hutnorCommented:
>>>DFS is continuously monitoring for file changes during the day. When it notices that files have changed it will find the changes and replicate them across.

You can set times up to when DFS replicates.


You can still add the 2003 features to your server.
Right click your file services in server manager then click add role services.

This will then let you install the 2003 FRS to allow your 2003 & 2008 server to replicate.
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