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Using DFS between sites with Windows Server 2008

By puzzled1 ·
I don't have a lot of experience using DFS and I was hoping to get some insite from any of you who have or are using it. I have a client that I am rebuilding a network for from scratch and I am wondering about using DFS between their 2 sites.

Here are some details about the network. Currently all the servers live at one site. There is a domain controller/file server running windows 2003, a windows 2008 64 bit terminal server, and a windows 2008 32 bit virtual terminal server. The remote site connects to the file server through a vpn. They connect to the 64 bit terminal server through web access and to the 32 bit terminal server through remote desktop. Both sites have 2 bonded T1s.

Here are the changes that will be made. Two new servers have been purchased. One will be strictly a domain controller. The other will run 3 virtual terminal servers. The existing terminal server will become the new file server and the existing file server, which is the oldes machine, will become a backup domain controller at the remote site. Also, the client wants to switch to using roaming profiles. The profiles will live on the DC.

The changes are being made for a few reasons. 1. the age of the existing file server/dc. 2. The client wants roaming profiles. 3. disk space is running out on the current servers. 4. there are performance issues that seem to be caused by trying to do to many things with on the existing terminal server. 5. performance on the existing file server is slow, especially across the vpn.

Ok, now for the part I need help on. I was thinking of using dfs to replicate the network share on the file server at the main site to the backup dc at the remote site or even getting an additional file server at the remote site for this purpose. However, the other tech working with me on this, who knows a lot more than I do to be honest, feels that there isn't enough bandwidth to do this. I was under the impression tha DFS was designed to work on low bandwith. How much bandwidth does it need. MY thinking is that the VPN traffice would be greatly reduced with not needing to use it to access files from the server and this bandwidth could be used to replicate the server. Is there some flaw in my thinking? Also, can DFS replicate in real time? Sometimes an employee at one site is waiting on a document to be finished by an employee at another site. Replication would need to happen pretty quickly after a file is saved. Is DFS a good solution for this or is there a better way. I was also wanting to replicate the roaming profiles between sites because some employees work at both sites.

Any insight into using DFS or any other solution to replicate between the 2 sites is appreciated.

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This is very possible, but I would want to test it thoroughly

by robo_dev In reply to Using DFS between sites w ...

Since, strictly speaking, you cannot do QOS over the Internet, there could be a lot of variation in terms of replication speed, and timeouts could be bad, obviously.

The big 'it depends' issues are how much jitter there is on your VPN and how big the user files are.

In general, I would have more faith in a NAS replication scenario over a site-to-site VPN than using DFS.

Depending on the budget, if you can provision a private leased line between sites, then you don't need a VPN, and the bandwidth you pay for is the bandwidth you get. I do some work with a firm which maintains mirroring between two Hitachi SAN devices over a private very well.

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by johny In reply to This is very possible, bu ...

its not a problem to replicate because in 2008 dfsr only take the piece that change in files not the complete file sizedont matter

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