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SBS 2008 DFS-R on LAN

Posted on 2010-08-24
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I've been doing some reading online about using DFS-R (Distributed File System Replication) on SBS 2008. I really know nothing about DFS-R so a few questions have arose.

Before my questions I want to mention that we're only trying to explore this possibility knowing that it isn't exactly standard or common on a small business network. I suppose that spending the money on reliable hardware and software to start with is a better solution than using DFS-R. What we would hope to achieve through DFS-R is failover of important files like Excel spreadsheets, MS Access databases, and Quickbooks files.

Here's something you see frequently, written by Microsoft if I remember correctly:
"DFS is built into Windows Server 2008 and is available in Windows Small Business Server 2008. If you want to use DFS you must use the technology-specific tools in Windows Server 2008 as there are no tools for configuring or managing DFS in the Administration Console."

1. What are the "technology-specific tools" listed here? Does this mean you don't get DFS-R functionality without installing third party software that makes use of or allows configuration of DFS-R?

2. What is a DFS root? Is this the folder you want to replicate? Can SBS 2008 host these DFS roots?

3. Does DFS-R work better on a LAN than it does across a WAN? We would be using it only on our LAN.

I'm going to post this question anyway although it looks like I might have gotten part of my answer from an MS Technet article about DFS-R:

Can DFS Replication replicate Outlook .pst or Microsoft Office Access database files?
Although DFS Replication does not explicitly omit Outlook® Personal Folders Files (.pst) or Microsoft Office Access® database files from replication, .pst and Access files that are accessed across a network can cause DFS Replication to become unstable or fail. DFS Replication can safely replicate .pst and Access files only if they are stored for archival purposes and are not accessed across the network using a client such as Microsoft Outlook or Microsoft Office Access (copy the files to a local storage device before opening them).


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Question by:HKComputer
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Dave_AND earned 250 total points
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1) DFS will work out of the box with servers, you just need to install the service on both servers
2) A DFS Root is the folder you will see when you browse the domain i.e \\mydomain.local will show a DFS root where you can then add shares to be replicated to other servers
3) DFS works better on LAN due to not having network restrictions, but will work over WAN using the tools to schedule replication.
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by:scraane
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BTW, after service pack whatever, one (or some) of the SBS2008 wizards do support DFS. When you create a new share using the Wizard (yeah, I know... lame) you do get a option to add this share to the dfs root.
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