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Move Windows 2003 R2 Std DFS namespace and replicated folder groups to Windows 2012 R2 Std

Posted on 2014-12-16
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Last Modified: 2015-01-29
Hi,

What is the proper procedure to move my existing Windows 2003 R2 Std DFS namespaces, replication groups, and replicated folders to a new Windows 2012 R2 Std server?

Here some background information of what I have working with. I have four Windows 2003 R2 Std servers all running DFS services; each at different remote office. Most of my replication folders are set up to replicated between two servers, and some are setup to replicated between three servers.  Not all replicated folders are set up with the same primary member.

I'm planning to replace each existing  Windows 2003 R2 server at each location to a new Windows 2012 R2 Std  running DFS services, then I want to bring all existing DFS configuration on the Windows 2003 server to the new Windows 2012 server that is replacing it.  I am also planning to remove the Windows 2003 server as a member server from DFS management and decommission the Windows 2003 R2 Server from Active Directory after DFS configuration is moved and replication is tested successfully.

I'll focus one location, since the process will be the same for each location. So far I have DFS services set up on the new Windows 2012 R2 Std server I will call this Win12R2DC1. Win12R2DC1 will be replacing the Windows 2003 R2 server called Win2003DC1. In DFS Management, I was able to add and display the existing DFS namespace and replication group created by Windows 2003 R2 DFS management. I can add Win12R2DC1 as a member server, and enable it to sync with each replication folder group that was setup for Win2003DC1. However, I'm not sure if this is the correct way to create the sync and moved the data because -

1) I'm planning to decommission Win2003DC1 after DFS is set up on Win12R2DC1
2) Not sure if the new server will still replicate with the other server after removing Win2003DC1 as a member from DFS management. Especially if Win2003DC1 was the primary server for the replication folder group and DFSRPrivate folder exist on that server,

So back to my question, how can I replace an existing Windows 2003 R2 Std server running DFS to a new Windows 2012 R2 Std server and transfer or mirror all existing DFS configuration on the Windows 2003 server? Best way to approach this?

Thanks in advance.
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Question by:NatoMas
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Accepted Solution

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Mahesh earned 300 total points
ID: 40505021
The approach could be simple as per my understanding
Update the Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) schema to include Windows Server 2012 R2 schema additions
Install DFS Name space and Replication role on all 2012 R2 servers that will act as members
Simply add one 2012 R2 server at a time as member in one site
setup DFS name space and replication in same site with old 2003 and new 2012 R2 DFS servers, create appropriate shares on 2012 R2 servers
once all data gets replicated correctly, add new replicated shared folders as folder target in existing DFS links pointing to 2012 R2 replica server
Test functionality by disabling folder targets to old server
Then, remove replication group from old 2003 server and new server,
remove old 2003 server from DFS name space as well, new server will continue to service users due to folder target in name space

Repeat same process in other sites as well
Once every thing is setup correctly, setup brand new cross site DFS replication
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by:NatoMas
ID: 40505311
Thanks for replying to my post Mahesh.

You had me lost on the steps below. Not sure if I'm understanding it correctly. Schema is updated and DFS already is installed on the new Win 2012 R2 servers.

setup DFS name space and replication in same site with old 2003 and new 2012 R2 DFS servers, create appropriate shares on 2012 R2 servers I add the namespace server that I needed. I'm planning to use the same namespace and replication folders that were created before I added Windows 2012 R2 servers to site.

once all data gets replicated correctly, add new replicated shared folders as folder target in existing DFS links pointing to 2012 R2 replica server Not sure if I'm understanding this correctly. Do you mean add the new server as a member then enabled the server as the target for each existing replicated shared folder?  If I'm using the old shared folder target, do I need to create new replicated shared folders identical to those that were created in Windows 2003 DFS.

Test functionality by disabling folder targets to old server
Then, remove replication group from old 2003 server and new server.
I created a replicated shared folder between Windows 2003 and Windows 2012, and the folders replicated successfully.

The replication folders between the old and new server works, but what I'm not sure about is that when I decommission and remove the old servers (Windows 2003 servers), will the replication shared folders still work between all Windows 2012 R2 Servers considering that some of the Windows 2003 R2 DFS member were primary member storing the DFSRprivate folder for the replcated shared folder that were set up initially? I'm just not 100% confident that it will work after removing the old server because what I read and understand is that the DFSRprivate folder has the config and is needed for that shared replicated folder.

Thanks.
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Assisted Solution

by:kevinhsieh
kevinhsieh earned 200 total points
ID: 40506176
Once DFS replication is healthy and up to date, you can remove any of the DFS-R members, including the "original" server that had the data when replication was initially setup. DFS-R configuration is primarily stored in Active Directory.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb539986(v=vs.85).aspx
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by:Mahesh
ID: 40506352
I add the namespace server that I needed. I'm planning to use the same namespace and replication folders that were created before I added Windows 2012 R2 servers to site.

U r right, new servers must be added as name space server in existing DFS, that is what I am trying to convey

Not sure if I'm understanding this correctly. Do you mean add the new server as a member then enabled the server as the target for each existing replicated shared folder?  If I'm using the old shared folder target, do I need to create new replicated shared folders identical to those that were created in Windows 2003 DFS.

Yes, you are right.
If you simply replicate folders to 2012 R2 servers, this will not allow users to connect to replicated folders on 2012 R2 after you remove 2003 dfs servers
As a fact you have to share those replicated folders as well and add them as folder targets in appropriate name space sub folders so that users will be able to connect to new 2012 R2 folder targets. I think you already have shared those replicated folders

I created a replicated shared folder between Windows 2003 and Windows 2012, and the folders replicated successfully.


Simply successful replication will not suffice.
U need to disable 2003 folder targets for testing and see if users are able to connect to 2012 R2 folder targets, this will ensure that 2012 R2 DFS folder targets are working correctly


Lastly, After you added 2012 R2 servers as dfs name space and dfs replica and all data got replicated successfully and after all testing is done, as I already mentioned, you have to delete replication group for that site, this will not delete data and shares, it will just remove replication group from DFS and from AD, then force AD replication.

Once you finish this activity, you need to create brand new replication group across 3 Windows 2012 R2 servers followed by adding new replicated shared folders as folder targets in appropriate name space folder
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by:NatoMas
ID: 40524750
I have not finished this project of mine yet, but will post my results and award the points to all the expert that commented.

Thanks!
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Assisted Solution

by:kevinhsieh
kevinhsieh earned 200 total points
ID: 40524801
There is no reason to delete and recreate replication groups. You only need to remove the old members from the replication groups after you have cut things over. You can even remove the old members after the old servers have been powered down. Not that I recommend that, but I am still finding lingering servers in my DFS namespace and replication configurations for servers that were unexpectidly lost. Fortunately I was able to just restore all of the data to a new server and add the appropriate entries to the DFS namespace. If DFS replication was working for these shares I wouldn't have even needed to do the restore. :-)
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by:Mahesh
Mahesh earned 300 total points
ID: 40524997
That's right, You can remove 2003 servers from existing replication group

However when you add new 2012 R2 dfs member as replica in same site, you need to replicate entire server data from 2003 to 2012 R2 server (same site) which might not be the case for dfs replica across sites, you might want to replicate specific folders across sites
Hence I suggested to delete old replication group and create new replication groups for cross site DFS replication for simplicity.

Instead of deleting dfs replication group, the same can be achieved by simply adding new replicated folder within existing  replication group if wanted to.
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Author Closing Comment

by:NatoMas
ID: 40577856
Thanks for all your responses, it makes a lot of sense however I am still in the process of migration.
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