Distributed File System Replication

Distributed File System Replication

The Distributed File System Replication (DFSR) service is a new multi-master replication engine that is used to keep folders synchronized on multiple servers.
Replicating data to multiple servers increases data availability and gives users in remote sites fast, reliable access to files.
DFS Replication is an effective way to replicate data between servers across a LAN or WAN (remote sites).DFSR uses a new compression algorithm called Remote Differential Compression (RDC). RDC is a “diff over the wire” protocol that can be used to efficiently update files over a limited-bandwidth network. RDC detects insertions, removals, and rearrangements of data in files, enabling DFSR to replicate only the deltas (changes) when files are updated.
DFSR replicates a folder scope defined by the replicated folder path. The set of computers participating in replication is defined by a configured topology of connections and is called a replication group.

Please visit Microsoft site for more information

I will go through step-by step DFSR installation and configuration on Windows Server 2012 R2

Before setting up replication between servers, the DFS Replication roles need to be installed on each server that is going to participate in the replication group.

Installing the “DFS Replication” Role

Click “Add roles and features” on Server Manger window


Select Roll-based or feature-based installation and click next.


Select from server pool the server which you want to install DFS Replication on.
Click Next.


Expand “File and Storage Services” Role and select “DFS Replication” and “File Server” then click Next.

File server role is a mandatory requirement for DFS installation

DFSR_04a  DFSR_04B

On features window click next and then click Install

DFSR_05  DFSR_06

Wait until installation complete and then click close


DFS Replication role is installed now and we are ready to start Configure Replication between Two file servers FS1 and FS2.

Configuring Replication between Two Servers

From Tools Manu Double click DFS Management.


Let’s start by creating Replication Group, Define Source and destination server involves in replication and replication folders.

Right click “Replication” and select “New Replication Group”


Click “Replication group for data collection” From “Replication Group Wizard” window and then click next.


Type a unique name for replication group and select domain, then click next.


Type the source server name that contains the data you want to replicate then click next.


Define the folders that contain the source data you want to replicate then click next.
My example is in a lab environment in which the source data located on a local drive

DFSR_13  DFSR_14

DFSR_15  DFSR_16

Now Type the destination server name where you will collect the replicated folder then click next.


Define the target folders on destination server that will contain the replicated folder then click next.


Replication schedule and Bandwidth

Choose one of the two replication schedule method “Replicate Continuously” or “Specific days and Time” and then select the Bandwidth usage limit during replication

DFSR_19  DFSR_19a

For “Specific days and Time” replication method


Review and create replication Group


Replication Group created successfully, click close

DFSR_22  DFSR_23

From DFS Management window you can modify Replication Group configuration and verify Topology



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