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I would like to set up a 2 server DFS-R for web content. The website is a Learning Management System that holds a few TB of videos and documents. The front end of the website is a Windows Load Balance across several servers.

I am looking for the following:

  • Add/Edit content via the LMS and have the general web user see the change immediately
  • Have a mirrored (as close to real time as possible) secondary standby system.
  • The secondary system is a replicated copy that is NOT used by the web application

Normally "Server 1" would be serving the content to the web application. In the event of a failure of "Server 1" I could switch the configuration to allow "Server 2" to serve the content.

This site has inbound content from a lecture capture system that amounts to several GB of content per day. My fear is in the typical DFS-R multimaster scenerio, some end users will see the content while others will not because the sync process between servers is backlogged. I'd rather avoid that possibility and have the content written to one place and simply have the second server as a standby.

In other words, if "Web Server 1" is communicating with DFS partner "File Server 1" and "Web Server 2" is communicating with DFS partner "File Server 2" when a mass of new video content publishes, the two front end web servers have different content until the replication catches up. I want to keep that from happening.

Is this possible?

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From what I gather you will need to set up a Hub & Spoke DFS Replication topology.

If all inbound changes to content occur on File Server 1 then your hub should be File Server 1. You would then add File Server 2 and Web Servers 1 & 2 as Spokes. This way content is only modified on the source (File Server 1) and changes are replicated out to the spoke servers. Web Server 1 and 2 will both receive their content from only File Server 1.

You will still need to wait for replication to be up to date between File Server 1 and Web Server 2 before switching over. However, this eliminates the wait for the replication to be caught up on File Server 2 before Web Server 2 and File Server 2 could replicate.

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