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Setting Up Dfs-Based File Replication

If you have multiple link targets and want to keep files synchronized among the targets, you'll need to configure Dfs-based replication. To set up replication for a link, perform these steps:

  1. Right-click the link and select Configure Replication.
  2. At the Configure Replication Wizard's introduction screen, click Next.
  3. You're prompted to select a target as the initial master of the replication. If you have one share that currently holds the data you want to be replicated to other shares, choose that share as the initial master. Click Next.
  4. You'll need to select the topology that the replication will use. The default is a ring topology, which is fine for most environments. If your network environment is more advanced, you might want to consider using one of the other topology options, which include hub-and-spoke, full-mesh, and custom. Your topology selection should correspond to your WAN network topology; ideally, your FRS replication should match the network layout. For example, if your network includes a central office and multiple branch offices connected to it, the hub-and-spoke topology would be your best choice. Click Finish.

The link targets will now replicate changes automatically, keeping their content in sync. However, depending on where the servers are geographically located, updates might occur on a delayed schedule. Factors affecting the delay include available bandwidth, the amount of modified data being replicated, the FRS topology you're using, and the replication schedule.

One caveat about Dfs replication: It isn't designed to be used with data that changes frequently in multiple locations or in cases where a file might be updated at the same time on different link targets. FRS doesn't merge file changes together; the most recently saved file is the one that's replicated. Therefore, you should use FRS only to replicate static data, such as templates or company policies or data that will be changed at only one location at a time. FRS's main benefit is that it provides a highly available set of data to protect you in the event of a single-server failure.

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