Replicate user and share data

Hello, I have two locations each location has a server that provides DC, printer server and file server services.   Most users (around 70 in total) have laptops.   I user folder redirection for their desktop, documents and favorites.  The users have a home office which is where their local data resides.  They also have SYNC enabled so they can have files when they are out of the office.  Our bandwidth is pretty good but when a user goes to the other location which is not their home office it takes a long time to open windows and to close windows.  My assumption is because I have folder redirection and the band width is not that big.

Currently the server is Windows 2008r2 and laptops are Win 7.  I can upgrade to Windows 2012rs2

Is their a better way to replicate between sites so I get better performance and that my data is safe?
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Schnell SolutionsConnect With a Mentor Systems Infrastructure EngineerCommented:

There is a built in technology in Windows Server which is called DFS-R. It has a replication function that allows you to replicate folders between different servers. Moreover, you can redesign your redirected folders to a new common name using a second function culled workspaces in DFS. This last option will allow your users to use the same network path to access the closest server.

It could be very convenient, and many people already use it in this way to replicate redirected folders. However, if your users make lot of changes in their profiles it will imply lot of replication between these two servers. Therefore, you can replicate just the users folders that do have the need to be replicated to the remote site (maybe not all of them move from one site to another). Additionally, DFS can be configured to perform replications at specific times or using a maximum bandwidth limit (i.e. You can configure replication to complete just at night using the full bandwidth, and during the day using a limited bandwidth).

DFS replication is very efficient, it can compress the data before sending it to the remote site. And it just replicates the files that have changes, and even in most cases, only the parts that have change within a file (Difference of blocks).
Not to put cold water, workspaces, I think only available with server 2012.

Unless the redirects use domain based reference, it will take sone effort to transition......
But domain based shares, with dfs-r is the way to go. Though that would mean files from each site will replicate to other site/s.
Schnell SolutionsSystems Infrastructure EngineerCommented:
Workspaces exist since windows server 2000 :). I remember configuring it by those times. Definitively it require some effort to transition, which is absolutely simple and worth.

It just requires create the name space and change the address where the policy is pointing at. It does not require changes in permissions or data transfers as far as the same profile is going to be read. Nonetheless, it will exist at the same time the previous address and the new one.
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Do workspaces require sharepoint server....... Might have been included in 2000, but are now a separate office type app/licensing?
Schnell SolutionsConnect With a Mentor Systems Infrastructure EngineerCommented:
Ouhh No.

DFS is an internal component of windows server. It includes to subservices:
- Namespace (It is what i mean with workspace, sorry, the real name is namespace. But is the same idea. Maybe that is why I was confusing you with my idea).
- Replication

These services do not imply any addional cost or licenses.
arnoldConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I'm familiar with dfs, I think the issue deals with an alternative to offline files and how to get them sync up. When the user is away from the/their LAN.
Recently looked again at an alternative to offline file handling that has not been updated ........ There is an alternative to have ....

Dfs-r for. One, two or few users the entire data from both location has to be replicated between, among the file servers between/among the sites.

arnoldConnect With a Mentor Commented:
The item is work folders (not workspace) ...

The sentiment is that the offline file handler has not been updated and there are .......
tucktechAuthor Commented:
Thanks, this would be a much better approach than what I have now.  Thanks for the input.
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