How to configure DFS Replication Group in Windows Server 2019

In this article, we’ll learn the steps to Configure DFS Replication Group in Windows Server 2019. A Distributed File System (DFS) is used to organize distributed SMB file share into DFS Server. The distributed file system is used to replicate files and folders on multiple servers.

In this post, we’ll talk about all the steps that are required and the pre-requisites of creating a replication group.  In the replication group, we create a shared folder on Computer ONE and another shared folder on Computer TWO. Distributed File system would help to replicate data between both the servers. It helps in replicating only deltas and keep both the servers updated.

Please ensure that you have DFS Roles installed on all the servers on which you want data to be replicated.

Create 2 folders in 2 DFS server:

1. Click on start then click on down arrow to open DFS management console.

2. In DFS Management console right click on Replication then click on “New Replication Group” to create new replication group.

3. In “Replication Group Type” we have to select the type of replication group. Select “Multipurpose replication group”, this option helps us to configure replication between two or more servers for content sharing.

However, “Replication group for data collection” is used to replicate data between Hub and Branch Server. This option is used to collect data at the hub server. For this practical, we’ll select “Multipurpose replication group”. Click on next.

4. In “Name and Domain console” enter the name of the replication group. Here, we give DATA_REP name of the replication group. Select the domain name.

5. In “Replication Group Member”, click on ADD and browse the name of servers that you want to add as the members of the replication group. Add all the servers between which you want to replicate the data. Data can be replicated between two or more servers. For this practical, we’ll replicate the data between two Computers i.e. DC1 and SVR02.

6. In “Topology Selection” we have to select topology of connection between members of the DFS replication group. The full mesh prevents the situation of a single point of failure. Each member would replicate data with other members of the replication group. In Hub and Spoke we would face an issue of replicating data if Hub is down.

7. In “Replication Group Schedule and Bandwidth” window, select “replicate continuously using the specified bandwidth”. It gives you an option to restrict the amount of bandwidth for the data to be replicated.

This option is to be used to instant replicate the data between servers and not at the defined scheduled time. Select “Replicate during the specified days and times” if you don’t want replication to occur instantly or if you want to schedule the replication as per schedule.

8. To configure DFS replication group, in “Primary member Console”, select the server which you want to designate as the primary member. The primary member is considered to push data to all other partner servers. For this practical, we’ll select DC1 as the primary member. This means, during the initial replication it will replicate the data from DC1 to SVR02 and not from SVR02 to DC1.

9. In this console, we would select a folder on the primary member that we want to replicate to another member of the replication group. Click on ADD and browse the DFS shares that you want to replicate.

10. In this console, click on EDIT to select “Enabled” option then click on browse to give the path of DFS share on SVR02, which you want to replicate with DC1.

11. In the “review settings and create a replication group” window, review the all selected settings. In case of any changes click on the previous button else click on continue to create the new replication group.

12. In the “Confirmation window”, the replication group is created successfully. Click on close.

13. Here, we can verify that our new replication group is created. Initial replication would take a few minutes/hours to replicate depending on the link, data, and connection between the computers.

14. Once the initial replication is completed successfully. Create a file or folder in any of the members of the replication group and check if it is replicating data with other members or not. Initial replication would take some time, once the initial replication is completed then it would be instant.

15. To verify the replication between folders. The text file/folder created in DC1 would replicate to SVR02.

Hope you understood all the steps that we have listed in this article to set up a DFS replication group to replicate the data between multiple servers either intra-site or inter-site.

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