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File Replication under Backoffice

By howardhenderson ·
Hi All,

I've got 3 office locations, each with a local server running Backoffice 4.5. I've got ISDN links between each office.

Most data files (Excel, Word, etc) are accessed from the local server, though since the user files are commonly 1-2Mb in size, when remote access is necessary, it is slow.

I would like to replicate each local office's files to each of the other locations automatically, for immediate access (and to gain a little more control of the timing of ISDN traffic).

What would be the best way to set up file replication between the offices for immediate access? NT directory replication? Exchange Public folder replications? etc... Are there other tools that would be more appropriate?

My Minasi book just talks about NT directory replication in terms of keeping login scripts replicated. I don't see much talk about saving data files in Exchange folders just to take advantage of replication, either.

Thanks a lot,
Howard Henderson

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File Replication under Backoffice

by Paul D. Masley In reply to File Replication under Ba ...

Howard:

It appears from your question, that your users can log on at either of the three sites and be authenicated. Your servers should be set up to do an automatic replication between sites on more than likely on five minute intervals. A 2 megfile can kill your bandwith with a five minute replication. Write yourself a batch file with the AT command, and set it up where the replication occurs at certain times. Be specific what directories are involved because of security. Replicate incrementally before 7:00 am, between 11:30 and 12:45 and definately after 4:30 pm.

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File Replication under Backoffice

by howardhenderson In reply to File Replication under Ba ...

Thanks Paul, for your comments! :)

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File Replication under Backoffice

by howardhenderson In reply to File Replication under Ba ...

Hi Paul,

Thanks for your comments.

Yes - that is correct - all three sites are under a common domain and users may roam (even though the main file sharing results from users at each branch sharing common job duties as group participants).

I had wondered about just using plain old batch files and copying the data directories at off-peak times, but since I am fairly new to Backoffice, wondered if there was a more 'elegant' method. Namely: 1) a way to only send modified files during replications, 2) a way that could be set at a lower priority than other WAN network traffic so it wouldn't kill the ISDN links during replications.

When you say 'servers should be set up to do an automatic replication' do you mean with NT directory replication? What are the practical pros and cons associated with directory replication? What about vis a vis Exchange folder replication?

Is it common/normal practice to use the Exchange public folders mechanism for file replication?

Thanks again,
Howard Henderson

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File Replication under Backoffice

by mhinckley In reply to File Replication under Ba ...

I don't believe that Directory Replication was designed for large scale file transfers. We just use it for login script stuff.

However, we do use Robocopy (from NT Resource Kit) with an AT command to back up large amounts of data to a backup server. You can schedule the copying to take place at night, and Robocopy won't recopy any (unchanged) files that already exist on the target. It can still use up a lot of bandwidth.

Another alternative is SMS (Systems Management Server) but if you're not already running it, it's probably not worth the effort just to move some files.

Mike

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File Replication under Backoffice

by howardhenderson In reply to File Replication under Ba ...

Thanks Mike, for the robocopy hint!

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File Replication under Backoffice

by howardhenderson In reply to File Replication under Ba ...

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