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DFSR in Windows Server 2012 R2

January 7, 2014

Bit of a benign update today, but having never needed to get my feet wet with DFSR (or indeed FRS), I thought I’d make an effort to get a handle on it, useful for updating to the very latest info too. The only time I’ve come across it previous is the rather niche detail of upgrading FRS to DFS for SYSVOL replication after a 2003 to 2008 migration (I think). Ran through a load of posts by the very funny Ned Pyle on Technet, and it seems in hand. I’ve probably learned it several times as part of previous qualifications, but back to the old saying of ‘use it or lose it’. When you’re constantly trying to cram your head chock full of anything and everything in the hope something sticks, something has to fall out. Anyway, spent some time last night building some simple templates in VMWare Workstation (9) for 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1, which consisted of installing, patching up to date, a few very minor tweaks so minor I forget (one was to run Disk Cleanup having installed the Desktop Experience, another was to ‘Optimise’ C:). I then sysprep’d and marked the install as a template. I then took a snapshot and gave it an adequate description as this is what you clone from. The name/description make it clear what you’re cloning from when you go through that. Suffice to say, a couple of hours and I had three 2012 installs up and running, 1 DC and 2 file servers. Domain created (so easy now), FS’s added to the domain, DFSR installed on both and DFSR set up and replicating happily. The look on colleagues faces when they pick up a 2003/2003 R2 DFSR/FRS issue says a lot in how far this has come. It’s easy, and Powershell sweetens it. I’m still no Powershell ninja, not in the slightest, but I’m warming to it. Check out Ned’s series of posts and it’s obvious why the PS method is easily the best.

http://blogs.technet.com/b/filecab/archive/2013/07/31/dfs-replication-in-windows-server-2012-r2-revenge-of-the-sync.aspx

The ‘deeper’ articles near the top are where to go for the nuts and bolts, but start on that page and follow as many links off it as you can bear, it’s worth it. Stuff like the DB cloning seems pretty obvious, why wasn’t it there before, but I guess that’s how things are 🙂

So a change, less revision, more sweeping up under-carpet topics that I’ve never bothered to get nailed. Who knows tomorrow might be certs and PKI’s (or maybe not, let’s not rush… 😉 )

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