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I want to use DFS to keep in sync for 2 IIS servers behind a load balancer. These machines are VPS at remote locations and have user uploaded files. To use DFS you need to be in a domain but I have read that you should not have a domain controller with IIS.

How does one setup 2 iis servers with DFS, on a domain, without one of them being a domain controller? Sorry, I am really new to the window's way of things and feel I must have a faulty assumption.

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  • Why not just use a VPN + shared folder?
    – Nathan C
    Jul 10 '13 at 0:33
  • With the load balancer I want to be able to have one server go down and still have access. A shared folder would be located on one server and be a single point of failure as I understand it.
    – zortacon
    Jul 10 '13 at 0:48
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I think you'd be better served by using a standalone file synchronization tool (rsync, ROBOCOPY, SureSync, etc) rather than DFS-R. You're going to need to stand up a domain for DFS-R and since, presumably, you won't want to dedicate a domain controller (DC) machine on each network, you're going to be in the position of running non-DC roles on a DC. That's generally not recommended.

I wouldn't get so hung up about doing things the "Windows way" that you end up building-out unnecessary infrastructure just to take advantage of a feature that, in your application, is of dubious value.

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  • I had understood DFS to be near instant in syncing so I thought it would be better than robocopy over a vpn. Sounds like I am making it more complex than needed. Thanks
    – zortacon
    Jul 10 '13 at 0:56
  • DFS-R is very nice, but you're talking about a reasonable level of infrastructure to make it happen. I'm the kind of person who tries a simple solution first and only makes things more complex when absolutely necessary. Since you're having users upload files you might be able to capture the uploads such that you can copy those files in near-realtime using a script that fires after an upload completes. Jul 10 '13 at 1:06
  • The load balancer is there for redundancy as the sites don't get much traffic. I can have the LB serve one until it goes down for some reason. The syncing can happen every minute so at worst one or two files could be missing. I can live with that if the rest of the site stays up by the LB switching to the backup server. Thanks for the reality check, simple is a good thing.
    – zortacon
    Jul 10 '13 at 1:12

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