troubleshooting Question

Windows Server / Fileserver Role / Conversion Implementation

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hypercubeFlag for United States of America asked on
HardwareStorageWindows OS* Distributed File System (DFS)Windows Server 2019
9 Comments1 Solution50 ViewsLast Modified:
I'm in the process of converting a legacy distributed workstation "fileserver" arrangement, already in a domain, into a Windows Server fileserver arrangement for the domain.
There's little corporate pressure to do this but hardware replacement provides an opportunity.  I envision that there could be advantages.
The current backup system is adequate.  But, it may be that a Windows Server based fileserver would have advantages there.  That remains to be seen.

In the past and presently, workstation fileservers are rather dedicated to a particular department's common file storage needs.
And, there remain practices that could be ended if the shares weren't perceived to be on particular "computers" but, rather, just shares; e.g. folders with their respective NTFS permissions.
So, I'll be gaining some experience with the environment and tools in doing this modest conversion.

I'm starting with a "server" computer that can handle multiple hard drives and will have hardware RAID1 capability as that seems to match the needs of this environment very well.
10TB drives will nicely meet the storage needs.

Thinking ahead, the first two workstation file servers to be converted will go onto that server platform in a Fileserver role as separate shares.
These are presently shared across 3 sites using dedicated links and would continue to be shared that way.
For the most part this has worked fine and should continue to work fine.
However, we do have redundancies to support operations in times of relative disaster.  
So, the idea of using DFS and having file shares replicated at, at least, 2 of the 3 sites seems like it could be attractive if for only that purpose - not to mention the small improvement in what is now (mostly unnoticed) -site-to-site file transfer performance.

There are about 25 people and 60 computers in all.
Given the size of the organization, the geographical dispersion, modest data storage capacity and modest storage bandwidth, what is common practice?

Each site has a DC on the same domain.
If I use DFS located at 2 sites, can the 3rd site access files automatically; i.e. rather independent of the site actually being accessed?  So, if one site goes down, the addressing remains without intervention?  I can imagine the answer is Yes but don't know the right words to discuss.  What would we have to do to make this a reality?

Given the storage capacity of 10TB, are there better hardware and software approaches?  I'm pretty comfortable with the first step here but having a better understanding of the options pros and cons and experience could be helpful.
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