This is my first real foray into blog posting. This was originally written for someone that had recently implemented Microsoft DFS Replication and was having a bit of trouble. Having dealt with some evil DFS replication issues in my past, I thought it would only be proper to lend a helping hand. I have decided to share these tidbits with the world so that hopefully it helps someone else out in the future.
So here goes:
File Quotas are a pain - File quotas in DFS replication can burn you – hard. The DFS health report will come up with an error about being out of disk space, but will not reference anything to do with file quotas. Essentially, DFS will try to replicate a file that has ownership to a user. The user will have filled up it’s quota at one side of the replication. When this occurs, DFS will error out. If you decide to setup user folders with quotas and DFS, make sure that you use FSRM and set up the quotas to email the users when they are reaching their full mark.
Fishing in the DFSRPrivate Folder - When implementing DFS, it is worthwhile investigating into a solution that provides remote file locking – because DFSR replication lack’s this feature. The impact of this is that two users can open the same file at both ends, write to the file, and close it. The result is that one of these files is overwritten which means your service-desk will get a call requesting that a file be fished out of the DFSR private folder – except that the user will just think that the changes they made to their file have disappeared – fun and games.
The evil magic of files being overwritten - The most recent issue that I had with DFS was our DR site overwriting our production site. I still haven’t figured out what truly happened, but it did scare the crap out of me! Having said this though, I think the root cause was that we had set up one way replication in Windows Server 2008 – which isn’t recommended, Anyways, make sure that you have backups (As any good SysAdmin should), and it may even be worthwhile to implement VSS snaps on your shares.
If you are looking for some more information, I found the following sites particularly helpful – Ned Pyle has a great blog site with plenty of posts. I found the ones about the Debug logs particularly impressive:
Other than that, I would also suggest to read up on the DFSRadmin and the DFSRdiag commands as they are pretty useful tools when you are troubleshooting. I hope all this help somone.
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