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DFSR in MIxed Windows Environment

Posted on 2011-09-28
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Can you run DFSR between a Windows 2003 R2 and a Windows 2008 server.  I have  server that I am looking to upgrade and thought that DFSR would be a good way to get all the data over.  Any thohghts on this?

Thanks,
Steve
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Question by:sferretti
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Wonko_the_Sane earned 250 total points
ID: 36717396
That should be possible.

I personally would not really use DFS for this kind of task - using tools like robocopy are pretty handy when it comes to copying large structures. It may just be a matter of personal taste, but I find robocopy to be very reliable and if there are errors it's easy to figure out why. With DFS it's much more difficult to tell if certain files are not copying properly or missing.
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by:kevinhsieh
ID: 36717918
DFS-R in Windows 2003 R2 works fine with Windows 2008/2008 R2. I used it for several years until the last 2003 R2 file server got retired this month.

I agree that robocopy is probably a better way to go, but DFS-R will work.
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by:jzaniewski
ID: 36720463
I agree with Wonko. Using DFS-R to replicate the files could cause you a lot of grief if not done correctly. If the shares are large (50 GB+) it could lock all the files in the staging queue for hours (or days if your server is slow) rendering your files inaccessible until the replication is complete.
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by:sferretti
ID: 36816644
Thank you for this information.  The server has multiple file shares with security protection.  Will Robocopy carry over the security AND  would this have to be a one time copy/cutover.  I was thinking DFS-R so that I wouldn't have any down time.  I would kick off the replication and when it was completed (days later) I would then change my scripts to point to the new server.  
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by:Wonko_the_Sane
ID: 36816668
You need to make sure you use the right parameters.
I usually do an initial sync and then later a one-time cutover, only syncing changes. The only down-time would be during the sync, to make sure nobody changes anything.

Important parameters for robocopy:
/copyall   - copies all attributes, including security

for the cutover:
/copyall /mir - mirrors the source. CAREFUL here - this will also delete files that are on the source but not on the destination
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by:Wonko_the_Sane
ID: 36816715
I need to add: Robocopy only changes files that have changed, that's why the sync is usually fairly quick.

So the whole process would be like that:

1. Build the new server but do NOT share any directories - you don't wanta nyobody to access it yet.

2. Do the initial copy using something like
robocopy \\oldserver\share \\newserver\d$\directory /copyall /e /zb /r:1 /w:1 /log:<logfile> /tee

2a. Check log file for any glaring problems. It is normal that not everything gets copied while the server is being used.

3. Test a sync to get an idea how long it takes (optional)
robocopy \\oldserver\share \\newserver\d$\directory /copyall /mir /e /zb /r:1 /w:1 /log:<logfile> /tee

Ready for cutover?

4. Disable shares on the old server, then run
robocopy \\oldserver\share \\newserver\d$\directory /copyall /mir /e /zb  /log:<logfile> /tee

4a. Keep an eye on the copy. If for some reason it can't copy a file it will keep trying and you need to figure out what's going. This is important.

4b. Optional: Compare source and destination - number of files etc. should be similar :)

5. Enable shares on the new server

6. Point scripts, mapped drives etc. to the new one.

The overall time for this depends on the number of files, data, and changes, but you would be suprised how much it can copy in one hour, granted that your servers and network are fast.
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by:sferretti
ID: 36817381
Thanks Wonko... I'll get a the Robo, give it a go and let  you know how it works out.  I'm hoping to start the process in the next few days.
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by:kevinhsieh
ID: 36818129
If you are going to have to point people over to the new server, you might as well point them to a domain based DFS namespace, so you don't have to reconfigure clients/scripts/mappings shurtcuts in the future.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc779627(WS.10).aspx
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by:sferretti
ID: 36948434
Didn't mean to keep everyone hanging here. Still trying to find time to do this.  Will be back soon with the outcome.
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by:sferretti
ID: 38406187
Robo Copy worked great
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