DFS-R in Windows 2008

Discussion in 'File Systems' started by Pavlos Gerardos, Aug 14, 2009.

  1. Hello everybody,
    This is the first time i'm using DFS and i need some help with the
    initial setup...

    I need to move ~750GB of data (docs and images mainly, no databases
    or .pst files) from an old file server to 2 new file servers which will
    have DFS replication enabled.
    All 3 machines are located in a LAN. No inter-site replication is
    What is the proper way to move the files?

    1.Should i copy the files through LAN from the old server to both new and
    then create a replication group?

    2.Should i copy the files through LAN from the old server to one of the
    new and then create a replication group where this will be the primary
    server and let him replicate to the other one?
    If that's the case, should i change the quota limits for the staging

    3.Any other ideas?

    Thanks in advance.

    Pavlos Gerardos, Aug 14, 2009
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  2. You have about 3 options:
    1. Use robocopy and copy the files and security to EACH of the 2 new
    servers, then setup a replication group between the two new servers. Initial
    replication will complete the fastest. Possibly done with the initial
    replication over night. (just estimating). I wouldn't worry about the
    staging folder here because this sceneraio has the least amount of files to

    2 Use robocopy and copy the files and security to ONE of the new servers,
    then setup a replication group including the freshly staged new server and
    the second new server.
    Initial replication will take half as long to complete as #3 but longer than
    #1. You might have to up the staging folder so the replication completes

    3. Setup replication where the old server replicates the files to both of
    the new servers. The initial replication will take the longest to complete
    out of the 3. (Days???) I would up the staging folder so the replication
    completes sooner. It has the most files to replicate.

    Danny Sanders, Aug 14, 2009
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  3. Pavlos Gerardos

    DaveMills Guest

    Partly it depends upon the bandwidth available between the machines.
    If the new servers have Gb connection and the old only 100Mb then one RoboCopy
    and replication is the better way. 750GB over Gb is just a few hours. Over 100Mb
    it is a day or more.

    Also consider the data being changed while you copy. If the RoboCopy is going to
    take several days to do 2 copies then you will need to consider the impact of
    users changing the data (or shut down access for a long time). A single copy
    will take half the time and once done the replication engine will look after
    live changes that happen once the first copy is complete. You will still need to
    user Robocopy on changes made during the first copy but that is much easier than
    with two copies to worry about.

    When I did this I first set up DFS link to the old and 2 new shares. I disabled
    the new links to prevent access by users. Then used Robocopy to copy the data to
    the first new server. Once Robocopy completed (there were quite a few errors
    because some users had denied the Administrator access to some files) I set it
    up to monitor the source folder for changes and copy them. As soon as Robocopy
    settled down I enabled the DFS link to this copy and disabled the link to the
    original server. It takes up to 30 minutes for all clients to notice (with the
    default referral timeout). Then I set up the replication from the new copy to
    the second new server and left it to it. Once replication was complete I enabled
    the second link.

    I was able to divide the data into several batches such as \\dfsroot\public,
    \\dfsroot\home etc. so each batch could be done one at a time. This kept the
    total data in a batch much smaller and let me work out the procedures on the
    smaller batches before doing the larger ones.

    One thing I did find was that if you have 2 DFS copies that are accessible to
    the clients you must not use Quotas because you cannot control which copy is
    accessed and eventually a quota will be exceeded and the replication engine will
    DaveMills, Aug 15, 2009
  4. Thank you very much both for replying.

    I decided to go with the first option as all of the 3 machines are on a
    1GB LAN.

    Pavlos Gerardos, Aug 15, 2009
  5. Pavlos Gerardos

    IT Staff Guest

    robocopy is the best for the INITIAL replication
    IT Staff, Aug 16, 2009
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