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I have 4 servers, one at each office location, each sharing read/write copies of 1.5TB of data. Changes are replicated 24/7 between all 4 servers via DFS-R. All servers run Windows 2008 R2.

I'm interested in implementing VSS (Volume Shadow Services) on this data. I've read that DFS-R and VSS play nicely together, but I'm left with one unanswered question: turn on VSS at all locations or just one (the headquarters). Can I run VSS at all 4 locations safely, or is it wiser to run it at just 1 location?


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You can run it safely at all locations but may not be any point in doing so. The mains reasons you would want to would be for backup or redundancy (of the VSS data) or probably more likely, if you have users at each of the sites. I have a similar setup as you with VSS running already but only where there are users. If users are never (or rarely) connecting to some sites, no real point in turning on VSS for those sites. Sure maybe the local DFSR server (with all the VSS data) goes down and users temporarily failed over to another DFSR server (without VSS data) and then they don't have that ability to Restore Previous Versions but that will be rare and only temporary. Once the local DFSR server is back up, assuming you have that fail back option checked, users will get pointed back to their local DFSR w/VSS server and probably never know what happened the whole time.

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