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Sorry if this seems simple, I'm mainly a linux guy, having to wear the windows hat from time to time.

In the past, we tried to setup DFS between two sites with server 2008, and it was a disaster. Mainly due to the slow speed of the links between offices. Person in Primary office would upload something, while talking on the phone to person in Secondary office, and that person would complain if they didn't see the 50MB file in a few seconds. (same problem the other way too).. I ended up removing the second site, and we currently have a domain DFS share with one server in it.

We have a new server in the Secondary office, running Server 2008R2, and I would like to try again, however, I would like to force EVERYONE to use the server in the primary office as their main server..(Ignoring sites, subnets, etc). If, and only if the Primary server is down, they would use the server in the secondary office (everyone would). Then, if primary came back up, Everyone would use the primary one again. We have also beefed up our wan speed as well.

I think, If I'm understanding this right, I want to add both servers as targets, and then, in the target properties for Primary, under advanced, check Override Refferal ordering, and make it First among all peers. I would then do the same thing for the Secondary target server, making it last. (I'm guessing that would take some time to replicate the orders through active directory, so do it at night).. I would then ensure I had a full two way replicaiton between them, for the occasional failover, and everything would just be groovy. Worst case, in a failover scenario, there might be a few files that would not have synced yet, but most of the 500G would still be there.

Am I correct in this? I don't want to 'break production' if I'm wrong, and I don't have any more servers really to test this in a lab setting.

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Sounds right, but I prefer to solve layer8 problems with my pissed-off face and a blunt object. –  HopelessN00b Jan 8 '13 at 17:58
    
Since you are using R2, you might consider enabling "Remote Differential Compression" in features. It will help cut a bit out of the transfer time. And every little bit helps. You can read more about it here msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/… –  MikeAWood Jan 13 '13 at 22:59
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Well, I don't know how well this is actually going to work out for you, in truth.

I have a similar setup, with DFS shares to remote sites connected by T1's. (1.5Mbit, we're blazing now.) We have the DFS master set to the local server for all users because we have to.

You think you get a lot of users complaining about waiting for a file to show in a file list? What do you think's going to happen when every file they access is accessed over these slow links? You'll never get a moment's peace between the complaints about the network being so slow.

Having to wait a few minutes for new files to get replicated seems like a small problem compared to having to wait a few minutes to open any file.

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That is true, however, that is the current situation.. They are used to it. We also have riverbeds at both sites, which speeds up the retrieving the files for the people at both ends. –  Brian Jan 8 '13 at 19:21
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