DFS replication troubleshooting


 I have a 2008 server in London and 1 in NY, they're configured for continous DFS replication. Recently we had a problem with our vpn link. I've managed to get the vpn link working, but we now have some out of sync files between US and UK. Would my best solution to sync the files be to do a manual 2 way replication ?

Throwing in some more info - the share is just under 5gb, accessed by around 9 users and the London connection speed is provided by BT at up to 20mbps.  I've noticed a number of DFS errors on the London server such as "server does not recognize replication partner or group", on the NY server the DFS logs look good. I've ran some diagnostics from the NY server:

Propagation test   - successful both ways

Propagation report   - successful both ways

Health report - only 1 warning "pre existing content is not replicated and is consuming disk space"

What's the best way to ensure up to date files at both sites?
Would I be better off scheduling replication rather than continuous (the service is being stopped for backups)?
Could the bandwidth or amount of data be causing a problem?

Any advice much appreciated

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Greg BessoConnect With a Mentor IT Solutions EngineerCommented:
So is it safe to say your LONDON copy of the files is the "single version of the truth" at the moment? If so perhaps you can remove and re-add the US replica and then enable syncronization to a new empty folder to get that back up and working.

But realistically you should first look at logs to see if a quicker and more simple change can restore the functionality.
dbhatoaAuthor Commented:
adding to server 2003, no luck on 2k8, hopefully someone will be able to help....tx
Greg BessoIT Solutions EngineerCommented:
I think that you definitely not be starting/stopping the services to allow backups to take place. Use scheduling if you want to not have DFS occur during backups.
Also I think you should look into the TechNet link, see if your configuration is consistent with some of their examples. But that error you mention sounds like probably the first thing you should resolve. Does that still appear or does it go away?
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dbhatoaAuthor Commented:

 thanks for reply, i still get the server does not recognize replication partner or group, which for over the past 7 days seems to coincide with scheduled backups.

 Just to confirm, you'd recommend scheduling backups and replication times to be mutually exclusive?
Greg BessoIT Solutions EngineerCommented:
I think you can actually leave DFS as-is, but you have to do one of two things (i think).
1) use a VSS type of backup, such as Windows Server Backup
2) ensure your backup software is configured to NOT update the archive bit
Check out this TechNet Blog post also: http://blogs.technet.com/b/filecab/archive/2008/06/18/backup-restore-of-dfsr-replicated-data-part-1-introduction.aspx
dbhatoaAuthor Commented:
who, thanks for the tip, we're currently using windows server backup

will follow thru with your link, thx
Greg BessoIT Solutions EngineerCommented:
Hi Dbhatoa, any updates? Hope all's well.
dbhatoaAuthor Commented:
sorry, couldn't find an answer, nothing worked, I've simply pointed London users to the US server
dbhatoaAuthor Commented:
Submitting this as a partial answer, as whilst I agree with the comments, it's not exactly what I was after.

 will re-move DFS shares and re-create from scratch to get a healthy sync
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