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I'm attempting to set up DFS Standalone replication for the static content of a group of 2008 r2 web servers, without getting the Domain Controller involved.

I've created a namespace on one computer A pointed at empty shares on computers A and B. When I try to replicate this folder through the DFS Management Server Manager snap-in, I get the error "computerA\namespace\share: The replication group cannot be created. There are insufficient permissions to create the replication group". From what I can gather, this action is trying to make changes on the DC.

Is what I am trying to do even possible? I tried using the command line utils but they've proven more cryptic than anything.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

A standalone DFS namespace cannot participate in DFS-R (If it is not a member of an AD domain).


DFS can utilize two methods to replicate data:

  • DFS-R - newer and used for Win2k8, Win2k8 R2, & Win2k3 R2
  • FRS - used for older versions of Windows.

If the server you are setting up the namespace on, and the target servers are members of an AD domain then, Yes you can use DFS replication.

If you do not have Domain Admin rights you will need to be delegated permissions to create replication groups:

Detailed delegation Grant permissions to create a replication group This action is one of the two delegation actions that are available in DFS Management. To manually perform this action in Active Directory Users and Computers, follow these steps:

  • Start Active Directory Users and Computers.
  • Right-click the Domain\System\DFSR-GlobalSettings node, and then click Properties.
  • Click the Security tab, and then click Advanced.
  • Grant the desired users or groups the Create All Child objects permission, and then click to select This object only in the Apply onto area.

Or alternatively you could ask to be set to control all Replication groups:

Control of all replication groups To grant a user control of all existing and future replication groups in a domain, follow these steps:

  • Start Active Directory Users and Computers.
  • Right-click the following node, and then click Properties:
  • Domain\System\DFSR-GlobalSettings
  • Click the Security tab, and then click Advanced.
  • Grant the desired users or groups the Full Control permission, and then click to select This object and all child objects in the Apply onto area.
  • Add the users or groups to each member's local Administrators group. Or, grant the Full Control permission for the computer objects of each server in the replication groups.

Steps were taking from KB911604

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Per DFS-R FAQ (possibly incorrectly?): In addition, DFS Replication can be used to replicate standalone DFS namespaces… – Ziplin Mar 29 '11 at 15:14
Not saying you're wrong, just that's where I got the idea that DFS-R was possible without domain architecture. – Ziplin Mar 29 '11 at 15:16
I added edits to the answer. – HostBits Mar 29 '11 at 15:32
Everyone on the domain has read/write, and the user (me) has admin rights on both computers – Ziplin Mar 29 '11 at 16:47
Are you a domain admin or just a local admin? – HostBits Mar 29 '11 at 17:08

No, sorry. DFS-R is integrated into the domain architecture. It is not planned and supposed to work outside. I suggest instead of trying what you do, you actually use the hosting as suggested by MS best practices for hosters.

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