File Server Multi-Site Cluster

Posted on 2010-11-22
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-08-13
Hi there,

I have to create a High Availability solution for my File Server. I nees to keep a copy of my files on another site, and if site A fails, site B assumes and everybody will still have access to the files. So I was thinking on DFS using namespace, but i saw that i need a Windows 2008 Server domin level to use the DFS Namespace, and unfortunately I still have some applications running on Win 2k3.

So, I was wondering if it is possible to create a file server cluster between these two sites. Does any can help me to create this kind of cluster please?

Question by:ney_santos
  • 3
LVL 71

Accepted Solution

Chris Dent earned 2000 total points
ID: 34187608

You can use DFS with 2003, you do not need to upgrade the domain or servers to 2008. Granted, the version in 2008 is more efficient, but that really doesn't exclude you from using it.

A cluster would be (very) hard, for a start you'd need Enterprise versions of the server OS, and you'd need shared storage (most likely a SAN implementing site-to-site replication), and that's before you even get involved in the difficulty of stretching it across to another site.


Author Comment

ID: 34189549
Do you know what is the difference betwen 2000 and 2008 Mode on DFS Namespace?

LVL 43

Expert Comment

ID: 34189557
DFS Replication isn't more efficient in Windows 2008. It is more efficient if at least one of the servers is Windows Enterprise or Datacenter where it will do a byte level replication. With Windows standard, DFS will do file level replication.

You can mix and match Windows 2003 R2 and higher file servers for DFS replication, and DFS namespace works well if Active Directory is at a 2003 functional level.  
LVL 71

Assisted Solution

by:Chris Dent
Chris Dent earned 2000 total points
ID: 34189660

DFSR implements bit-level replication and is available in the standard versions of Windows from Windows 2003 R2 and up.

Both servers *must* be capable of DFSR, you cannot mix and match (that is, you cannot mix DFS on Windows 2003, original, with DFSR on 2008). However, Windows 2008 can use standard DFS.

Note that Cross-RDC (RDC is Remote Differential Compression) requires one of the members to be Enterprise, Datacenter or Storage edition, but this is a feature of RDC, not all of RDC.

I use DFSR in hub-and-spoke topology between Windows 2003 R2, Windows 2008 and Windows 2008 R2.

LVL 71

Assisted Solution

by:Chris Dent
Chris Dent earned 2000 total points
ID: 34189696

> Do you know what is the difference betwen 2000 and 2008 Mode on DFS Namespace?

File level (all of a changed file) vs bit level (only changes to a file, at bit-level). The feature referred to above, cross-file RDC is used to build-up a bit-level file by using matching parts from other files. This is an enterprise-level feature.

DFS on earlier versions is nowhere near as flexible as it is in later versions, but it still works. I would be hesitant to advise on setup for it for Windows 2000, it's been at least 6 years since I touched Windows 2000.

I urge you to get a simple test network together for this. It won't be hard to configure with 2000, the options are very limited.


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