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two way home drive replication for active/active DC

Posted on 2014-03-31
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Last Modified: 2014-05-20
Hi All,

can anyone please suggest me what is the best way to create a folder for home drives that is replicated both ways from one DC to another DC ?

The OS and Domain Controllers on both sites are all Windows Server 2012 R2.

I'm currently considering building an active/active terminal server and remote desktop solution where user can be spread across two different data centers.

Any help and assistance would be greatly apprecaited.

Thanks,
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Expert Comment

by:Mahesh
ID: 39966597
Note I assumed that both DCs are in different site
However you can create DFS replica within Two servers in same site also.

You can deploy DFS name space and replication between TWO DCs at two sites
1st create DFS name space Ex: \\domain.com\Userdata on 1st DC
Then add your shared folder as DFS folder target on that server
Then add replica of that folder on another DC in another site
Then publish another replica folder as another folder target in DFS name space
Then add another DC as name space server in DFS
Now if users from site A trying access \\domain.com\userdata they will be get connected to site A DC 1st for file access because DFS is AD site aware application, if site A server gone down, they can automatically connected to site B DC for file access due to referrals
The same case is applicable to shared folders in Site B

Select Mesh topology so that both side folders can Replicate folders

Check below article for how to setup
http://mizitechinfo.wordpress.com/2013/08/21/step-by-step-deploy-dfs-in-windows-server-2012-r2/
http://blogs.technet.com/b/josebda/archive/2009/08/21/three-ways-to-design-your-dfs-namespaces.aspx

Mahesh.
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by:Senior IT System Engineer
ID: 39969402
Thanks Mahesh, does it have to be on the same AD site or it can be on different AD site ?
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Expert Comment

by:Mahesh
ID: 39970309
You can have it in same site or within different site

Anyhow, In the event of a server failure, DFS refers client computers to the next available server, so users can always access shared folders without interruption.

In normal cases DFS replication can be best used within sites
For Ex: Production Site and DR site

By default DFS locate DFS servers in same active directory site as client and if you keep your both servers in same site, clients can get connected to any one server in the same site and then any changes will get replicated to another server in same site

Mahesh.
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by:Senior IT System Engineer
ID: 40014592
mahesh, does in this case with DFS-R is there any way to do file locking mechanism / federation service ?
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Expert Comment

by:Mahesh
ID: 40014630
Sorry, unable to understand last comment ?

Where federation service came in picture here ?
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by:Senior IT System Engineer
ID: 40014636
I don't know that's why I'm asking :-)

is there any way to prevent one user logging in twice into two different home drives at the same time ?
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Expert Comment

by:Mahesh
ID: 40014766
Ok
Federation service is not required

1st of all why same user will logon twice to his home directory from two locations ?

Also if both DFS servers are in same site, you can configure that users can connect to any sopecific folder target on particular server only and you can simply disable another folder target (Replica) for user to avoid file locking issues if same user logged on from multiple machines in same site
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by:Senior IT System Engineer
ID: 40014784
Mahesh,

The reason that the user could possibly be logging in into different home folder in another data center is that because I'd like to implement the below architecture of remote Terminal Server spread across two different data center (Active/Active)

Active/Active Data center
if somehow the user went out for lunch and then relogin back again, the GSLB in this case Citrix Netscaler randomly assign the user into either one of the two Windows Server 2012 terminal server (RDS) in those two DC.
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Expert Comment

by:Mahesh
ID: 40014882
If users are logging of theer sessions, then you will face issues, however if they disconnect the sessions, they should get connected to same will Why don't you ask your user to discoonect the sessions instead of logoff
and
Is it possible to set on netscaler that reconnection from same computer should direct to same server as previous one.
may ne netscaler can set affinity just like windows NLB ?
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by:Senior IT System Engineer
ID: 40024606
"Is it possible to set on netscaler that reconnection from same computer should direct to same server as previous one.
may ne netscaler can set affinity just like windows NLB ?"


Well, unfortunately it is not possible for the Citrix Netscaler to do it.
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Accepted Solution

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Mahesh earned 500 total points
ID: 40024892
If you cannot control NetScaler,  then its not possible to get user to same home directory server again as previous one

The other alternative I can see, use actual server hostname (folder targets) to connect to Home drives

For Ex: DFS folder target for home drive is \\contoso.com\homedrives\UserA
Where folder targets can be \\RDS1\userdata\UserA and \\RDS2\userdata\UserA

Now your users will always get connected to home drives on single server only no matter to which terminal server they get connected and same time your Home Drives will get replicated through DFS replica

Is that what you are looking for ?

Mahesh.
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