Windows 2012 R2 DFS Staging Folder

I want to make sure I am understanding the DFS staging folder correctly.

1) There is only Staging folder located at the root of each shared folder and there size is added together from one large staging area per volume for example. Four shared folder with a staging area of 4GB each would mean a 16GB staging area for the volume.

2) Default size is 4GB but if space permitted should be as large as the sum for your 20 largest files. correct???

4) The process would work like this a file of any size is modified. The entire file is then copied to the staging area and only the changes are copied across the network.

Am I correct? Also could the staging area folder  / content be compressed to save space?
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compdigit44Asked:
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Robin CMSenior Security and Infrastructure EngineerCommented:
1) Yes, and "probably no". Yes there is one staging folder per shared folder by default at share\dfsrprivate\staging, but the info about whether or not they aggregate conflicts. This says they do but is applicable to 2003 only: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc782648(v=ws.10).aspx, whereas this says they do not, but was posted when 2003 would have still been the current server OS: http://blogs.technet.com/b/filecab/archive/2006/03/20/422544.aspx
Experiment and see what happens!! (and post back)

2) Default is 4GB, but could need to be as large as the total size of the shared folder. See http://blogs.technet.com/b/askds/archive/2011/07/13/how-to-determine-the-minimum-staging-area-dfsr-needs-for-a-replicated-folder.aspx and also https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc754229.aspx. The latter suggests sum of the largest 32 files. Do keep checking this value and adjust the quota upwards if necessary.

4) Correct. And furthermore, you'll benefit from Remote Differential Compression and so you'll only get the changes to the files sent over the network. See https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb540025(v=vs.85).aspx

I would not compress the staging folder, because it is used to compute hashes for RDC and re-assemble complete files from compressed received data. These are both CPU-intensive, and if you're then trying to compress this data on top, it's just adding extra CPU on top again. Just properly allocate your storage in the first place.

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compdigit44Author Commented:
Besides disk space is there any harm in making the staging area to large?
Robin CMSenior Security and Infrastructure EngineerCommented:
You can make it as large as you like, it doesn't reserve the space you set.
compdigit44Author Commented:
Do it does not preallocate space .. so in some ways it is thin provision correct and expand the space to the max size when needed correct?
Robin CMSenior Security and Infrastructure EngineerCommented:
Correct, it does not pre-allocate the space, it is just like any other quota you'd set on a Windows file server in that respect.
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Windows Server 2012

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