I have a web site generating files at runtime, this web site is deployed on 2 servers

Operation system, Windows Web Server 2008 R2.

I am looking for a manner to sync the changed and new files from one server to another, one-way sync.

DFS-R, anybody succeed in installing DFS-R on Windows Web Server 2008 R2? here is an article http://blogs.technet.com/b/filecab/archive/2008/05/14/installing-dfs-replication-on-windows-server-2008.aspx, which does not work for 2008 R2 any more.

robocopy, I tried this one, but it does not perform very well and sometimes there is everal minutes delay before the changed file is synced.

Please do you have any suggestion to me?


  • Please provide more details, e.g. how large is a dataset, average size of the file, distance between servers. – Sergei Dec 26 '11 at 10:25

I use DFS-R on a bunch of Windows 2008 R2 Standard Webservers for the web content without a problem. They all need to be members of a domain, but I remember the wizard being fairly clickety-straightforward.

You simply install the DFS components on all the servers you want to sync, and then on one of them set up all the replicated folders and add all the clients to that replicated folder.

This link seems to cover the steps quite well.

N.B. - you say 'realtime' - this means different things to different people. What sort of a lag is tolerable for you? Solutions vary (in complexity and cost) depending on whether you can tolerate 5 minutes, 5 seconds, or 5 milliseconds.


I missed where you said you had Server 2008 R2 Web Edition, you're right that doesn't come with DFS. This leaves you with two other options:

  1. Save all runtime configures to some persistent shared storage, either a network drive that all nodes can see, or to a database somehow.

  2. Hack together Robocopy, rsync, or some other filesystem sync framework to handle the replication.

Personally, I've never found (2) to be particularly reliable. It might work at first, but silent failures can cause a lot of issues. If it's only small files, (1) might not be a bad idea. In an ideally architected world, web servers shouldn't be storing transient but shared data on their filesystems anyway, precisely because of this synchronization issue. However, I appreciate that re-building everything just to solve this might not be the most available option. In this case, I'd probably push for resource to upgrade to Server 2008 Standard Edition - DFS really does work very well, and MS presumably removed it from Web Edition to push more advanced deployments onto Standard.

Alternatively, you can take a look at the IIS Web Farm Framework. I've never played with it myself, but it looks like it might have some filesystem syncrhonization features in it. I can't guarantee that it'll do what you want though.

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  • Thanks, but it seems that DFS is not available any more in Web Server 2008 R2, and it can't be found in the list when adding the Roles and Features – Mr.Wang from Next Door Dec 26 '11 at 11:50
  • and for the word "realtime", I want the small file changes can be synced within 15 seconds – Mr.Wang from Next Door Dec 26 '11 at 11:56
  • Didn't see your original spec of Server 2008 R2 Web Edition. Updated. – growse Dec 26 '11 at 12:06

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