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Help with DFS & Namespace for Head Office & 9 Sites

Posted on 2014-02-20
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2014-07-07
Hi Chaps

Looking for some help with regards to deploying DFS & Namespace / Mapping to multiple Sites on domain controllers.

I'll start with a background, feel free to shout if i have missed anything.

We have the following kit in our Head Office


Server1 (High end DL380pG8, Raid5)
Windows 2012 Server    
All FMSO roles, GC, DC, DHCP, DNS.  
This server is the MAIN Data Server

Server2 (Old HP Server)
Windows 2008r2
Additional DC, GC & DNS

Sonicwall firewall
10 mb leased line internet
30 Users with Windows 7

Remote Sites ( 9 sites all the same )

Sonicwall Firewalls

Each site has the below network :

5mb leased lines at all sites

All sites have Site to Site VPN running and are working fine for the last year with no problems.  From any site you can open up the network places and see the domain.

Each site has around 10 computers that are on the domain, currently they logon over the VPN’s, each pc runs a login script that maps the W drive to a share on the head office office server.

The system works extremely well, however the data is growing and would now like to deploy a server at each site so that they can have local data as well as a domain controller for quicker logon ( not interested in RO DCS)

All 9 remote sites are to have a HP Proliant ML350G8, Raid 5, 16gb.

I’ve never setup DFS and name space, I’ll try to explain what we want :

Each site is to have the following mapping

W:\HeadOffice       (this data is kept on the head office and is not to be replicated to any other server)
R:\Sites\Site1, Site2, Site3, etc etc ( Each site is to have their own shared folder kept on their own server and this data is to replicate to the head office server. Enabling a head office user to make a change on a doc and then for it to be replicated back down to the site server.

Basically all sites are to replicate their data onto the head office sever in the Sites directory.

I’d like to know how to map the drives so all users have r:\Site, within here they will have access to only there site.

I also can’t work out how to tell the client pc’s on remote sites use the local data rather that the data that will be kept on the head office server under sites folder, is there a setting somewhere to say use local server rather than head office server.

Are there any guides on how to setup a simple dfs for this sort of situation ?

Finally these servers are going to be all Domain Controllers, is there anything else that needs to be done other than enabling GC on each of them.  For example as each site will be on a different IP subnet do I need to do anything in DNS or Active Directory Sites and Services.

Looking for to help, I don’t think I’m doing anything hard however I really want to deploy this correctly.

Thanks chaps.
Question by:roger_patel
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LVL 59

Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 39875755
What you want is possible with a combination od DFS-N, DFS-R, logon events, and a few other tidbits. However, based on the depth of your questions. I will also say trying to step you through such a setup via EE is probably more than most experts are willing to take on, which is why you haven't gotten a response yet. A project this large on scope really should be contracted out to a local specialist if you aren't already familiar with most of the steps that need to be taken. It is simply too much to try and wrote a small book.a worth of knowledge in an EE reply.
LVL 42

Accepted Solution

Adam Brown earned 1500 total points
ID: 39875921
If the only users that can modify the files that you replicate with dfs are in a single site, dfs replication is a good solution. However, if files are modified on both sides of the replication it has serious problems handling things. has a step by step guide for implementation. You can configure dfs so the cleint machines will look to the closest replica of the data based on active directory site, so if each location has its own site, it will automatically handle it.

Also, you'll want to make sure that each subnet for each physical site is added in Sites and Services, then preferably create a site in Sites and Services for each location. Assign the correct subnets to the correct site and that will help route people to the right DCs and DFS replicas.
LVL 37

Expert Comment

ID: 39879762
1st of all DFS is Active directory site aware application

hence if you are deploying ADC's at remote site or not still you need to create separate site for each VPN location
If you don't have DCs in remote sites, you can create empty sites
Once you attach correct subnet to those sites, then DFS will work correctly
By default DFS will route access queries to local site DFS server

In case of replication, you need to use Hub and Spoke topology
Here your remote site data will be accessed by users and it will get replicated to main site and from there you can take backup


Author Closing Comment

ID: 40180075
Thanks chaps,

We have deployed DFS to all sites and using the MS guides all looks well.


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