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Apple File sharing inconsistencies

Posted on 2010-08-24
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
We have a Windows Server 2008 box hosting a very large file share on our LAN.  We also have some Macs on our network that hit this share frequently.  Sometimes though, when a Mac saves a file, and a user on another Mac, or another PC tries to access that file immediately afterwords, the file does not show up on the network share.  Eventually the file does show up on the network share, usually after a period of minutes.  This problem only occurs occasionally, but frequently enough to be annoying.  Can anyone shed some light as to why/how this happens?  All of our Macs run OS X Leopard, and they are all accessing the server via SMB.
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Question by:jgbauer
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by:woolnoir
ID: 33512289
is this when a file is created, or when a file is updated, or both ? and is this a normal share, or something using replication  i.e DFS.
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by:jgbauer
ID: 33512771
The share is replicated to another server using DFS (I forgot to mention this, I apologize).  The server these files are replicated to is running VSS on the share for fast backup purposes.  This happens when new files are created, I have no prior knowledge otherwise.  The server we are replicating to is also a Windows Server 2008 machine.  Full bandwidth to the replicated share is allowed 24/7, and both servers are located in the same rack.  Thanks for looking into this.
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by:woolnoir
ID: 33512979
In that case, it could be due to the windows machines checking one DFS target (i.e server 1) and the macs storing the file on the other target (server2) - the file replication ( in my experience) is never instant and can take some minutes depending on the OS version. If the servers are running 2008 and thus using DFSR for replication then its usually quicker, 2003 servers are slow in general for replication.

If the difference in time is measured in minutes then there isnt much to be done to improve matters.

Are the macs accessing one of the DFS targets directly i.e smb://server1/dfs target name ? or smb://domainname/rootname/

Assuming they are domain based DFS roots ? and not standalone ?
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by:jgbauer
ID: 33516580
This is a standalone DFS root.  Although both the Mac and PC are storing files to the same target.  I agree DFS may somehow be the culprit.  Especially since the Mac users tend to work with larger files.  Would you recommend setting up a Domain based DFS root over standalone?
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by:woolnoir
ID: 33518330
Do you mind me asking what your domain fucntional level is ? 2003 or 2008 ? the reason i ask is that DFSR is used for the inter-server replication if you use 2008 FL, which could aid in the update time for large replicated shares. If you're still using 2003 for large shares (files, or number of files) then you will experience issues like this. No real way around it....

for FRS ( the 2003 functional level verison) MS have the following recomendations

A maximum file size of 20 gigabytes (GB).
A maximum of 64 GB of data.
A maximum of 500,000 files under the replica root.
A maximum of 1,000,000 simultaneous change orders.

above which you will experience problems.....

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by:jgbauer
ID: 33523174
Woolnoir, thank you for your suggestion.  I have risen the domain and forest functional levels up to 2008 from 2003.  Since I do not have 2003 DC's I figured this was a safe move.  I will see if that helps fix the problem.  
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by:woolnoir
ID: 33523200
You need to upgrade the dfs as well ill find a guide. Stay tuned.
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woolnoir earned 500 total points
ID: 33523773
Taken from http://blogs.dirteam.com/blogs/r2/archive/2006/01/05/380.aspx

The high-level steps to migrate from FRS to DFS-R are:

Inventory all DFS folders within legacy DFS namespaces that use FRS replication
Inventory for each DFS folder the following information:
DFS namespace path (e.g. \\<FQDN domain>\<namespace name>\<folder>)
Replication topology
Replication schema
File and subfolder filters (replicated folder specific)
Staging size (replicated folder specific for each specific replication group member)
DFS folder targets and the local path of the folder
Delegated tasks (can now be delegated at different level within DFS Namespaces and DFS Replication groups!)
From the inventory see which DFS folders have the following characteristics in common and for those design a replication group that contains the DFS folders as replicated folders:
Replication topology
Replication schema
Delegated tasks
Perform the following tasks for each DFS folder:
Remove FRS replication configuration by using the legacy 'Distributed File System snap-in', selecting the DFS folder, right-clicking it and select 'stop replication' (after doing that replication is stopped for that folder and configuration is removed!)
Wait for AD replication to complete or force replication through (without the quotes) -> "repadmin /syncall <FQDN DC where the changes were made> /e /d /A /P /q"
Wait for each DFS folder target to poll the new configuration from AD or force the folling through (without the quotes) -> "ntfrsutl poll /now <FQDN FRS based DFS folder target>"
Depending on the inventory create a new replication group or use an existing replication
Assign the DFS folder as a replicated folder, select the primary replica and select additional replicas
Configure the File and subfolder filters if different from the default
Configure the Staging Folder size if different from the default

REMARK: from this point the DFS folder is available through the DFS namespace and replication is working. However when looking from the DFS Namespaces node by selecting the DFS folder and then the Replication TAB it will show: "Replication status: not configured". And when looking from the DFS Replication node by selecting the replication group and then the replicated folders TAB it will show: "Publication status: not published". The main reason for this is because an attribute is not populated (we will take care of that later!)
 
REMARK: sharing and publishing the folder into the desired DFS namespace will not work because the DFS folder already exists in the DFS namespace
Use ADSIEDIT.MSC to populate the attribute "msDFSR-DfsPath" of the object "CN=<Replicated Folder>,CN=Content,CN=<Replication Group>,CN=DFSR-GlobalSettings,CN=System,DC=<Domain>,DC=<Tld>" with the DFS namespace path of the DFS folder that was collected earlier during inventory
Wait for AD replication to complete or force replication through (without the quotes) -> "repadmin /syncall <FQDN DC where the changes were made> /e /d /A /P /q"
Wait for each new DFS-R based DFS folder target to poll the new configuration from AD (by default 60 minutes) or force the folling through (without the quotes) -> "dfsrdiag PollAD /Member:<FQDN DFS-R based DFS folder target>"
Remove the hidden folders used by FRS from the DFS folder (e.g. "DO_NOT_REMOVE_NtFrs_PreInstall_Directory") (do not touch the "DfsrPrivate" folder as that is used by DFS-R)
After migrating all DFS folders that used FRS to DFS-R cleanup the staging directories used by FRS (e.g. "Frs-Staging")
If a DFS Namespace was created using the legacy 'Distributed File System' MMC then you might want to enable SITECOSTING at DFS namespace level. The legacy 'Distributed File System' MMC does not enable sitecosting by default as the 'DFS Management' MMC does
To create and configure DFS replication groups and to assign and configure replicated folder the 'DFS Management' MMC can be used or the command utility 'dfsradmin.exe' can be used. The latter, of course. can be usefull in performing repeated tasks!

And obviously this is pending having the DFS root on a 2008 machine with 2008 functional levels.
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by:woolnoir
ID: 33523789
Have a goo read through the link at the top, FRS-> DFSR migration isnt a trivial task so be sure you get it :)
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by:jgbauer
ID: 33550561
Woolnoir, I will give this a shot shortly.  I would like to allow some time for the solution to be tested before I close the question if that is okay.  Thank you for your assistance.
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by:woolnoir
ID: 33550566
take your time - its your question after all :) I appreciate the update thought :)
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by:woolnoir
ID: 33550568
though*
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by:Qlemo
ID: 34514883
This question has been classified as abandoned and is being closed as part of the Cleanup Program.  See my comment at the end of the question for more details.
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