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How to Set up DFS and Folder Replication

Distributed File system or DFS replication for short is a way for us to combine our file shares across multiple servers and especially in a domain environment to allow us some fault tolerance and redundancy and also to improve performance.  Basically a file share can be set up on two different servers in different locations and replication is set up between these two sites.  When you access these shares from one of these locations you will access the share that is local which will improve your overall performance when opening, editing and saving files.

In the below example we will create a DFS share for “Software” so I can store a list of installation files and have them replicate between Server 1 (Site1) and Server2 (Site 2). These files will then be available locally to each server on each site and will save copying install files across the network when needed.

How to set up a DFS Namespace

Step 1

If you would like to use DFS you will need to Install the DFS Namespaces and DFS replication server roles. You can do this through Server Manager.  

Select Manage and then Add Roles and Features     

Please note : On Server2 you do not necessarily need to install DFS Nampespaces. Just DFS Replication will do and the files will successfully replicate to this server.

DFS replication

Create a identical folder on each server and Share this folder

Open your DFS Management console and create a Name space.

DFS new name space
New Namespace

Type in the server name that you are setting the DFS share

Namespace wizard

Give your Namespace a name.  (This is not your share name)

DFS replication wizard

Your names space will then be created.

Set up the DFS share that you will replicate.

Right click on your name space and select Add new folder

dfs managment

Point to the new Shared folder that will be used in DFS and give it a name.

DFS folder

How to set up DFS Replication

There is no need to log into your second server. Now that you have set up your DFS folder you can now replicate this folder with the folder on your second DC that you created in step 1 straight from the management console on server 1

You can do this by adding a new Folder Target which points to your second server’s share.

DFS target

Replicate folder wizard
DFS folder wizard
dfs folder replication

DFS folder replication wizard
DFS replication wizard

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