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Windows Server 2012 DFS Replication between 2 DC's

Posted on 2015-01-06
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Ok, I have a new client who has purchased 2 Dell Servers with Windows Server 2012 Std R2. Both servers will be Domain Controllers. My client is a small business with a small budget. He wants the 2 DC's to mirror each other file server wise. If the primary server goes down for any reason he still wants to be able to access the file shares on the secondary DC, until the primary comes backup. So I did some research and it seems as though DFS Namespace/Replication is the way to go. So I setup the Namespace, Folders and Replication. I'm doing all this on 2 VM's to test how the functionailty will work before the servers come in. Now Replication of the data between the 2 servers is working well, but when I took the primary DC down and tried to access the domain share I couldn't. My test domain environment is ; contoso.local. the full UNC path is \\contoso.local\Shares\Folders. I have the share mapped as \\contoso.local\Shares\folder on a Win7 VM. When I brought the primary DC back up I was able to access the domain share. The DFS Namespace is on the primary DC only. Why am I not able to access the domain share when the primary DC is down? I can access the files on the secondary DC by typing \\dc02\Shares\Folder but not using \\contoso.local\Shares\Folder.
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Question by:rraymond1130
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by:VB ITS
ID: 40534906
Did you add your second DC as a Namespace Server in DFS? Steps to do this can be found here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc732807.aspx
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by:Deadman
ID: 40534914
Please view below links steps to follow in deploy of DFS in two servers and compare have missed any thing.

https://mizitechinfo.wordpress.com/2013/08/21/step-by-step-deploy-dfs-in-windows-server-2012-r2/
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 40536080
Have you reviewed your logs to ensure everything is good?  Is DNS setup properly on the DCs and the clients?
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by:rraymond1130
ID: 40536163
Lee I have checked both DC's and DNS setup passes. On the client I have both DC's IP's in the DNS setting for the NIC. Remember my 2DC's and Client are running on VMplayer. This is testing. I have a drive mapped on my Win7 Client to \\contoso.local\Shares\Folder Now when I power down the DC01 (primary DC, also where the DFS Namespace lives) I can't access the mapped drive, but if I type in: \\contoso.local\Folder I see the folder but it contains nothing. So if I type in this: \\DC02\Shares\Folder I see the folder and the files it contains. Typically I take it DFS Namespace\Replication is done on 2 Fileservers. We don't have the luxury of affording that many servers. So I'm trying to make it work between the 2 DC's.

VB ITS I did not add the Namespace to the second DC because it would not let me create a 2nd Namespace with the same name.
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Author Comment

by:rraymond1130
ID: 40536167
Also both servers will be in the same location, I'm just creating a failover senario. If DC01 goes offline for some reason. The users can keep working on DC02 until DC01 is back up.
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Lee W, MVP earned 500 total points
ID: 40536205
I don't recall DFS working quite that seamlessly.  Try this:

Make sure both DCs are running
Map the DFS share to the client.
Save a test file.
Shutdown (disconnect) one DC.
Do you still have access?
Swap DCs.
Do you still have access?
When you DON'T have access, log out and log in again.  I think, if memory serves, DFS maps to a server at logon and then wants to remain with that server until the next login.
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Author Closing Comment

by:rraymond1130
ID: 40536478
Ok Lee,

That worked.. I guess I was being a little impatient or my VM's are being a little slow. The drive lagged opening up but the folders and files was there. I created a new file and brought DC01 backup and the new file was there. I did the same taking down DC02 and everything worked. I made sure the client had both DC's IP's in the DNS of the NIC. So more testing ahead I just have to be patient with my VM's.. Thanks for the help.
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