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DFS Folder Replication

After you have created a DFS folder with multiple target folders (on domain controllers or domain member servers), you can configure replication for that folder. Make sure that you have DFS installed on the servers that will serve as the replication partners (meaning the servers that hold the shares that are pointed to by the DFS folder).

You can then configure replication by using the Replicate Folder Wizard. Follow these steps:

1. Expand the namespaces node and then expand the root of your DFS namespace. Select the folder that you want to replicate.

2. Select the folder’s Replication tab and then click the Replicate Folder Wizard link at the top of the tab. The Replication Folder Wizard opens.

3. On the first wizard page, the replication group name and the replicated folder are listed. These are based on the DFS folder name (and the root namespace) selected in step 1. Click Next to continue.

4. The next screen lists the folder targets (shares) that are eligible for replication (this is all the share targets on domain servers running DFS). You should see all the targets you specified when you created the DFS folder. Click Next.

5. On the next wizard page, you specify the DFS server that will be the primary member for the replication group. This is the server that contains the data (in the share) that you want replicated to other shares (on the other servers involved in the replication). Use the Primary Member drop-down list (see Figure 12.24). Then click Next to continue.

Figure 12.24. Select the replication primary member.

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6. The next wizard page requests that you select a topology for your replication group. You can select one of the following (some options are not available if you do not have three or more servers in the replication group):

  • Hub and Spoke— Spoke members connect to one or two hubs. Data would originate on the hub (or hubs) and be replicated out to the spoke members (requires at least three servers).
  • Full Mesh— All the members of the replication group replicate with each other. This is fine for a small-to-medium-size DFS structure (10 or fewer servers). Remember that replication requires network bandwidth and so larger DFS implementations may work more efficiently in a hub and spoke configuration.
  • No Topology— The wizard proceeds without creating a topology. You can then configure a custom topology in the DFS Management snap-in via the Replication node.

Select a topology (for sake of discussion, let’s assume that you select Full Mesh). Then click Next to continue.

7. On the next wizard page, you must select the bandwidth to be used for replication. The default setting is Full. You can select the bandwidth in the Bandwidth drop-down list, which provides a bandwidth range from 256Mbps to 16Kbps.

This wizard page also enables you to determine the schedule for replication. The default is Replicate Continuously. You can click Replicate during the specified days and time and then use the Edit button to configure the replication schedule (in the Edit Schedule dialog box). When you have set the bandwidth and schedule for replication, click Next.

8. The next wizard page provides a summary of the settings for your new replication group. Click Create.

The replication group is then created. A Confirmation page opens, letting you know whether there were any errors during the creation process. Click Close. A Replication Delay message appears, which lets you know that replication will not start until the server members of the replication group pick up the replication configuration.

After you configure your DFS structure and add shares to DFS folders, users on the network can access these shares by browsing the network (just as they would to access shares not included in the DFS tree). Adding replication to the DFS structure means that users can access files on the network even if a replication group member is not available.

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