Enabling DFS Replication


DFS replication is used to ensure that data is synchronized between servers.  In some scenarios, this technique can be recommended to reduce the length of publishing times.  For example, it may be desirable to publish locally to the CM1 server and use DFS to replicate the published files to the web server. This document outlines how to enable DFS replication between servers.  The configuration also assumes that both servers are in the same domain; the process is also outlined using Windows Server 2012 R2 as a model.

Configuring CM1 to Work With DFS

To configure a publishing server to work with DFS replication, you will need to follow the steps in this document. This process is done by setting up CM1 to publish locally, and using DFS to synchronize the contents of the locally published files to the web server, for example.  You must have administrative privileges in CM1 to configure the following.  To setup a local publishing server in CM1:

1) Navigate to the 'Publish' menu.  Double click the site you wish to publish.

2) Select the '+' button outlined in the image below, and fill in the appropriate details for your configuration.

Local publishing configuration

3) By default, a local publish will write the site's contents to: <CM1Install> --> Deployment --> Server --> your_siteapps/ROOT.  You may select a different directory on the server using the 'Use my own web server (exact path)' configuration.  To read more about publishing setup in CM1, please refer to the document here.

4) Click save.  From here, you may select this publishing configuration and run a full publish.

5) The newly published directory is what you may select as the source directory for replication outlined in the steps below.

Enable DFS Replication

This feature must be enabled on all servers included in the replication.  With that said, the process is:

1) To start, open the server manager.  Select the 'Manage' menu at the top right, and click 'Add Roles and Features.'

2) Select 'Next' on the 'Before You Begin' menu.

3) Under the 'Installation Type' menu, select 'Role-based or feature-based installation.'

4) On the 'Server Selection' screen, choose 'Select a server from the server pool' that you wish to enable as the DFS server.  Click 'Next.'

5) Under the 'Server Roles' dialog, select 'File and Storage Services --> File and iSCSI Services --> DFS Replication.'  Click 'Next.'

Enable DFS in Windows Roles and Features

6) From here, a window will display the features to be added.  Click 'Add Features.'

7) This will bring you back to the 'Server Roles' page.  If everything looks good, press 'Next.'

8) The 'Features' window will show the features to be added.  Click 'Next.'

9) The 'Confirmation' window will prompt the user to confirm and install the features.  Click 'Install' if everything looks as expected.

Configure DFS Replication

1) To configure DFS, click the start menu and navigate to 'Control Panel --> Administrative Tools --> DFS Management.'

2) Right click 'Replication' and select 'New Replication Group...'

3) Select 'Replication group for data collection.'

Adding a New Replication Group

4) Under the 'Name and Domain' window, select the name of the replication group, an optional description, and the domain in which you'd like to enable DFS replication.

5) Under the 'Branch Server' window, enter the name of the source server with the data you wish to replicate.

6) In the 'Replicated Folders' screen, click 'Add' to select the folders you wish to replicate.  The second configuration option allows you to configure a reference name for the path you have selected.  Select 'Next.'

7) On the 'Hub Server' dialog, select the destination machine to be included in the DFS replication scheme.

8) On the 'Target Folder on Hub Server' menu, select the target folder you wish to synchronize the source directory with.

9) The 'Replication Group Schedule and Bandwidth' window allows you to select the replication schedule.  The default option is OK, and anytime an update is made on the source server the destination server is updated.

10) The last step allows you to review the configuration.  Select 'Create' if everything looks OK.