Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm researching a sever clustering architecture as a redundancy and backup solution for a client, and something that isn't made clear is whether or not i can use server clustering to replace a file server with backup solution. Forgive my Elementary understanding of server clustering but supposing:

  1. 2 Sites (NJ, CA)
  2. Identical Servers at each site setup as a Remote Site Cluster nodes with Windows Enterprise server 2008 r2
  3. Services: File, Terminal, AD, and maybe DNS

Will the following will be true: Files (including data drives) will be synced between the two servers eliminating the need for third party backup/mirroring software to sync/backup files.

Also supposing i use roaming profiles w/ folder redirection; How will client computer in the WAN access their data through the cluster (i.e. will they automatically choose the best route)

share|improve this question
up vote 1 down vote accepted

If your goal is simply file replication take a look at DFS it is already part of 2008 and is alot easier to configure if all you are looking for is data redundancy.

If clustering is also something you are looking for I believe you would still use DFS to do the replication.

Users will access files through a common name space i.e. \DFSNAMESPACE\DFSFILES

Check it out. HERE

share|improve this answer

As Campo said, DFS already replicates files (using old NTFRS or the newer DFS-R) and also provides you with a nice namespace for seamless file access from wherever you are to the nearest node.

Clustering Windows is basically for running clustered applications like SQL server and so on.

However I have to stress, replicating or syncing data between sites is not backup and will not replace backup. Any changes you make in one site will replicate over to the other - hence user interaction, malware, accident or on-purpose-sabotage will leave you hanging with lost data.

Replicate data between sites or not, you still need to backup the data as well.

share|improve this answer
If ServerFault were a movie, its tagline would be "Redundancy is not backup!". – ThatGraemeGuy May 5 '10 at 21:24
Yep this. Clustering is absolutely not backup. – Chris Thorpe May 5 '10 at 22:12
I realize this but the immediate replication and fail-over is nice. Especially withe equal sized offices on either coast – JERiv May 6 '10 at 3:57

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.