Understanding DFS Terminology - Set up Question Server 2012


The instructions I have seen for setting up DFS Shared Name Spares and Replication all seem to suggest that I have to follow the structure \\domainName.com\namespaceName\folderName\targetFolderName

 -- FolderName
      -- targetFolderName

It’s not until I create the target folder that I get the replication wizard which then lets me create the site to site replication of the actual content.

I could of course create the replication membership manually but I wonder why it suggests the above structure.

We have two servers  Server1 and Server2. Each has a local copy of the profiles which are to be replicated.  Profiles on Server 1 are stored in D:\Profiles  and on Server2   are E:\Profiles

I want to use the namespace \\domainName.com\ProfilesShare so users can access their profiles from either location.

Question 1)
Do I have to use such a long structure (as above)?
Can it not simply be \\domainName.com\ProfilesShare  which refers to the local copy of the profiles folder and replicates the local copies?

Question 2)  When I created the namespaceName on Server1 it asks for me for a storage location i.e C:\DFSRoots\namespaceName .  Would a copy of all the content within ProfilesShare also be kept here in the C: as well as the D: drive? If so, is it ok to change the storage location to D:\Profiles to avoid having two copies on the server.
Why is there a namespace storage location and a target folder storage location?

Hope these questions don’t seem silly. The examples explain what to do but not the meaning behind it!

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1.  There are two ways to use DFS roots as explained below

A. You can use a single root folder to organize a large group of disjointed shares if you want. That would be the reason for the longer pathname.

For Example. I have a DFS Root called company that is empty and read only. Then I link other shares within it with different permissions to organize the shares in one location and allow users to link to it with one drive letter.

B. You can also use the DFS root as a single share that you want to have multiple targets to. You do not have to create any DFS links underneath it as you are using your share as the root. In this configuration I would recommend setting up replication between the two folders so they are identical.

2. c:\DFSRoot is the default location. you can set this location to anywhere. As a matter of fact if the folder is already shared out and you set it up it will detect that you have the share already and ask if you want to use the old share settings instead of what is set in the wizard. I'm not a fan of storing data on the C partition so I set up my root where I would like it.

Important Note!!!!!! I would set up test replication with a test folder before using DFS replication and Root folders for the first time. This is so you learn how it works first hand and you don't cause yourself any issues.

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EICTAuthor Commented:
Thanks Chuck.
In order to get the Namespace to refer to the different path locations on the servers. I needed to manually create the Replication Memberships first then create the namespace (i.e. I couldn't use the Wizard).

All works fine.  Your response confirmed what I thought so this helped.
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Windows Server 2012

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