This post focus on DFSR (Distributed File System Replication). You can know what DFSR is and how it works. Besides, there is some information about the requirements for DFSR. What’s more, you can know how to install it. Now, you can continue to read this post.

What Is DFSR

Distributed File System Replication (DFSR) service is a new multi-master replication engine. It is used to keep folders synchronized on multiple servers, which can improve data availability and enable the people in remote sites to access files quickly and reliably. Now, you can continue to read this post from MiniTool to get more information about DFSR.

Although DFSR has been widely used, it has some disadvantages. The main disadvantage is that it usually lacks visibility into the copying process. It does not display any information about the current status of the service.

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How Does It Work

Then, let’s see how Windows DFS replication works. DFSR uses a new compression algorithm called Remote Differential Compression (RDC). RDC is a protocol that can be used to efficiently update files on a network with limited bandwidth. RDC detects the data’s insertion, deletion, and rearrangement in the file so that DFSR only copies the increment when updating the file.

To use DFS replication, you must create a replication group and add the replicated folder to the group. The following figure illustrates the replication group, replicated folders, and members. This figure shows that a replication group is a group of servers, called members, they participate in the replication of one or more replication folders.

Requirements for DFSR

There are some requirements for DFSR. Before you can deploy DFSR, you need to follow the steps below to configure your servers: The details are as follow:

  • You need to update Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) architecture to include Windows Server 2003 R2 or higher architecture. You cannot use a read-only copy folder with Windows Server 2003 R2 or older architecture. Maybe you need this post – Full Fix: Active Directory Domain Services Unavailable.
  • You should make sure that all servers in the replication group are in the same forest. You cannot enable replication between servers in different forests.
  • You should install DFSR on all servers that will serve as the replication group’s members.
  • Please contact your antivirus software vendor to check if your antivirus software is compatible with DFSR.
  • Find all the folders to be copied on the volume to be formatted with the NTFS file system.DFS replication does not support the Resilient File System (ReFS) or FAT file system.

How to Install DFSR on Windows

You can know how to install DFS replication on Windows in this section. There are two methods for you.

Use Server Manager to Install DFSR

You can use the Server Manager to install DFSR. Here is how to do that:

Step 1: Open Server Manager and click Manage. Then, click Add Roles and Features.

Step 2: On the Server Selection page, select the server or virtual hard disk (VHD) of an offline virtual machine on which you want to install DFSR.

Step 3: Then, you need to select the role services and features that you want to install. Select DFS Replication on the Server Roles page.

Step 4: On the Features page, expand Remote Server Administration Tools and Role Administration Tools. Then, expand File Services Tools to select DFS Management Tools.

The DFS Management snap-in will be installed by DFS Management Tools. The DFS Replication and DFS Namespaces modules for Windows PowerShell, and command-line tools, but DFS services will not be installed on the server.

Use Windows PowerShell to Install DFSR

You can also use Windows PowerShell to install DFSR.     To do that, you need to open Windows PowerShell with administrators right. Then, type the following command – Install-WindowsFeature <name>.

Role service or featureName
DFS ReplicationFS-DFS-Replication
DFS Management ToolsRSAT-DFS-Mgmt-Con

For example, if you want to install the Distributed File System Tools portion of the Remote Server Administration Tools feature, you need to type Install-WindowsFeature “RSAT-DFS-Mgmt-Con”.

If you want to install the DFS Replication, and the Distributed File System Tools portions of the Remote Server Administration Tools feature, you need to type Install-WindowsFeature “FS-DFS-Replication”, “RSAT-DFS-Mgmt-Con”.

Final Words

What is DFS replication? You may have answers after reading the post. Based on that, you also obtain some extra information about Distributed File System Replication. Here comes the end of the post.

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