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Move DFS-R Replication Groups to a new Server?

Posted on 2012-04-10
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Last Modified: 2012-06-05
Hi, I need to move my DFS-R replication groups/folders from one server to another. Right now they are hosted on Server1 with a SAN that is quickly running out of space. I need to move them to Server 2 which has a SAN with plenty of space to grow. Is there a way to do this without starting over, or causing DFS-R to do it's initial replication again?

I am not using namespaces.
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Question by:Rex-Prince
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arnold earned 400 total points
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Yes, go into the dfs management interface, under the replication group, add the new server as the target and there you can specify the drive letter and the directories where you want the data. Let the data replicate, then when the replication completes, you can add the new servers as the dfs target. Give it time, and then remove the old server from the dfs share target. At this point you can remove the old server from the replication group.

When configuring replication make sure you use mesh and not a hub spoke if you want changes at either to replicate to the other.

The transition will require the users to reconnect to the new server.
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by:Rex-Prince
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Sorry Arnold, I have not had a chance to try this out. I will hopefully be able to by the end of the week.

Can I seed this new member, or do you recommend that I let it replicate to an empty directory?
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by:arnold
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it is up to you.  If you use xcopy/robocopy to preserve ownership and ACL rules, you can move it at will.  The benefit of letting it replicate is, that should some clients still have a connection to the current server and update a file, it will replicate to the new one when the file is closed.  If you copy and retarget, you might miss this file update since the copy will not work on an open file.

Yes, let data replicate to a new/empty folder on the new system.
you can test replication by creating a new test file on the new server after replication is setup to make sure the file makes its way to the current server.
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by:kevinhsieh
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If you want to pre-seed, here is the definitive post from Microsoft on how to do that.

Replacing DFSR Member Hardware or OS (Part 2: Pre-seeding)
http://blogs.technet.com/b/askds/archive/2010/09/07/replacing-dfsr-member-hardware-or-os-part-2-pre-seeding.aspx
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by:kevinhsieh
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I suggest that now is the time to start using namespaces, since you will have to reconfigure all of your clients anyway, you might as well do it for the last time.
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by:Rex-Prince
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I did a test run with one replication group. I used robocopy to preseed and it seems like I had a lot of conflicts on the initial replication. I used these parameteres: robocopy "source" "destination" /mir /sec /s /e /r:1 /w:0

Is there a different switch, maybe COPYALL would be better?
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by:arnold
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No, if using dfs-r there is no need to preseed given when a replication partner is added it is seen as empty whether it is or not.
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by:kevinhsieh
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If you read the link I provided, you do require /COPYALL in order to properly pre-stage the content, and you need to use the correct version of Robocopy.

3. Sync the folders using robocopy with the following argument format:

Robocopy.exe “\\source server\drive$\folder path” “destination drive\folder path” /b /e /copyall /r:6 /xd dfsrprivate /log:robo.log /tee
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by:Rex-Prince
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One last question. I added the new Member, and now I have three Servers in this Replication group. The Current Server (Server1/SAN), the Current Replication Server (Server2), and the New Server (Server/SAN).

Server1 is the Primary in that group, and that is the Server I plan on removing when this over. Is there a way to switch the Primary role, or is that just for initial replication?
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by:kevinhsieh
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The primary is only for initial replication. Once replication has happened, there is no such thing as a primary server. When you are done and you want to remove the original server, just remove it from the replication group.
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by:arnold
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You should first remove the server from the share section. Once no clients use the share on this server, remove it from the replication group.
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by:Rex-Prince
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Thanks Arnold. I did exactly what you said and it worked like a champ. Kevin, thanks for the info on pre-seeding. I will use that for new replication groups.
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