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Scenario is a small network with a Server 2008 R2 running AD, DHCP, DNS, Print & File Sharing.

We'd like to build a backup server to continue operations uninterrupted should the main server go down. Configuring DHCP, DNS and AD is easy.

The question is how do I configure a 'backup' Network Drive, redirected users folders, and printers. Is there any MS documentation on this? All my Google hits are just on backup software.

Currently all our UNCs are \Server\resource . Is there a tool / MS component to create a Virtual Storage Pool that is synchronized across two (or more) servers, and our UNCs could be pushed out as \VirtualPool\resource ?


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Distributed File System (DFS) – Chris S Jul 24 '12 at 14:10
up vote 2 down vote accepted

You can use a DFS namespace to obscure the path to the share so that it would appear as \\domain\users instead of \\server\users. You'd use DFS-R to replicate the shares between the two servers and then add them both to the namespace.

For printers, there's not a lot you can do other than using group policy to map them and change that policy to the other server in the event of a failure (unless you get dedicated print servers and cluster them).

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Thanks - I'll pull up the DFS documents and go from there. I just needed the technology name to narrow down the search results. Can this manage printers as well? – Dom Jul 24 '12 at 14:14
No. Read the second half of my answer. Unless you can break these roles apart into many separate servers and use clustering, you're going to have some manual intervention in the event of a failure. – MDMarra Jul 24 '12 at 14:16
Sorry, somehow skipped that line. DFS and DFSR gets us 90% of what we want and looks really easy to admin. They'll have to live without printers for an hour if something goes wrong - thanks for the fast reply. Be interesting to research how DFS manages file locking and change conflict resolution. The first hit on Google doesn't sound promising. – Dom Jul 24 '12 at 14:21
If you're worried about simultaneous access and locking, you can set up replication, but only add one server to the namespace. Then, if a server fails, just remove it from the namespace and add the other. A manual process still, but a fast recovery without the need for client reconfiguration. – MDMarra Jul 24 '12 at 14:24

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