DFS Migration issues

I am new to DFS.  We took over the IT work for a small company.  They have 2 locations, each with a Windows 2008R2 server runnning the DFS role.

I installed a new 2012R2 Server at location 2 and setup the DFS Member.  Then I added the replicated folders to the local server in c:\DFSData\

Everything seemed to be working fine, I was even able to watch the files starting to trasnfer.  

But this morning I started getting phone calls about missing files.

It seems that some of the files from the source server are missing, mainly users profile data like My documents.

I was under the impression that when during the initial sync, the source files would remain untouched.

The files I am concerned about are located in d:\users and d:\profiles.

My main question is how can I tell if those files are gone or what happened to them.
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Jason CrawfordTransport NinjaCommented:
Man you just entered a world of hurt.

How much data are we talking about here?  Did you pre-stage prior to turning on replication?  If so, what MS approved method did you use?  I assume you're talking about production data in which case every other issue or ticket you're working on just took a backseat.  You may want to bite the bullet and call MS on this one to prevent any data loss.
Are you using DFS namespace as well? Maybe users are accessing files on the new server before everything has replicated. In that case, disable the DFS namespace references to the new servers until replication is complete. You generally only want to allow access to a single server in a site.
revo1059Author Commented:
There was about 750GB of data total.  I did not pre-stage the data.

To answer kevinhsieh... Yes, we are using DFS Namespaces as well.  The name spaces are behaving strangely.  when you visit the name space ( doamin.local ) it lists the shares but the contents of those shares can be different from the 2 sites.

I was able to determine that the replication has finished.  

One of the main reasons we are replacing the servers is disk space.  The source server was very low on space and I believe this played a major role in the issues.

99% of the data is there, The only issue is that a few users lost their desktop icons/settings because they have roaming profiles setup.

Would it be better to remove the new server and start over?

As I said before, I am very new to DFS so any extra direction would be helpful.
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Jason CrawfordTransport NinjaCommented:
You should verify the initial replication was finished successfully:

wmic /namespace:\\root\microsoftdfs path DfsrReplicatedFolderInfo get replicatedFolderName, State

The number you'll want is 4.  If you see 2 you know it's still replicating.  Just for future reference, you should always pre-stage DFS instead of just turning it on and letting it all replicate over the network.  When you pre-stage it, be sure to follow Microsoft best practices.  I personally use the Robocopy method.

revo1059Author Commented:
That's a good tip, thank you.  I have one more server to do this on so I will definitely do the pre-staging.

As for having one DFS server per site, what is the down side to keeping both running for now?  

We are not ready to shutdown the old server yet and I don't want to cause more issues.
It sounds like DFS Namespace is running properly. It's a very simple, robust service that has been around for over 15 years. It sounds to me that DFS replication hasn't finished, which is why you see different files depending on which site you are in, because each site points you to a different file server.

DFS namespace and replication don't do any file locking, so it's really bad if people work on the "same" file at the same time, because the changes in one of those copies of the file will be lost. Microsoft also specifically recommends not using it for user profiles and home directories, though I believe that you can work around the issues as long as a user doesn't log into more than one computer at a time.

It's because of file locking that you don't want to have more than 1 active DFS target in the same site, because two different users in the same site could be accessing the same directory/share on two different servers, leading to more inconsistency.

My policy is that for shared documents that are writable, there is only 1 active DFS namespace target available, so I know that every is looking at the same share. For user folders, I may allow more than one active DFS namespace target, keeping in mind that users should only be logged into one machine at a time, and that I don't do roaming profiles (redirected folders is okay).

If you need users to be able to access and modify the same content from either site, you really need PeerLock.

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revo1059Author Commented:
Wow that is some great information.  Like I said at first, we inherited this network / config from another company.  They have always had issues with their profiles being slow or not loading at all and what you said about logging on different stations makes perfect sense.

I will pass that info up the chain, sounds like we have some reconfiguration to do.
revo1059Author Commented:
Both users were helpful, thank you.
revo1059Author Commented:
I wondered if I could ask a follow up question.

As for user profiles, what is the best way to do replication.  There are some users that move between the two sites and they need their desktop available to them at both locations.
Folder redirection to a DFS namespace and then replicate the back end shares. Folder redirection also speeds up roaming profiles because it reduces the size of the profile. In general, roaming profiles should not be used. Folder redirection is highly recommended.
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Windows Server 2012

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