Just wanted to share a recent experience in resolving replication issue with some folders between DFSR File server Members.
Out of multiple folders configured in DFSR members few folders stopped replicating between each other. When I looked at the DFSR Diagnostics report, I can
see these folders are in “waiting for initial replication” to complete. This is in this stage for more than couple of months. Initially I thought this would
resolve once the initial replication stage is completed but it never did. So time for some troubleshooting technique to be applied.
Why/When did this happen?
The reason why these folders went to the Initial replciation stage is because I had to recently re-configure them. From that point of time,the replication
never happened between the member servers.
Why users did not raise any concerns?
Thats because these folders are least used. Also as part of namespace they are able to connect to these shared folders and they are able to save the contents
in the respective site DFSR member servers. The replication which happens at the background did not happen and it was noticed by them.
How to fix this?
Get a downtime from users, during Out of Office Hours ( may be via Change control process!)
So, to fix this, we need to know some basics of DFSR.
Whenever there is a change happens for any of the folders configured in DFSR, their respective DC’s should recieve this information and keep it up to date
and replicate this change to other DC’s.
In this case, what would have happened is, before DC get to know about the changes, I made a change in the same folder at other DFSR member server too. So
this was the problem and hence this folder is still in initial replication stage for longer time and this will never complete.
We figured out this could be the issue, so,
Login to the DFSR member server which is configured as secondary or configured for other sites. If you have multiple servers configured then you need to
decide on which server’s data can be secondary.
open the DFSR console in secondary server, under the replication group, locate this problematic folder. Right click and click on disable. Click yes to the
Now disable the primary one, it will give you a warning,say yes again.
Now you need to wait for minimum one hour.(in my case). This waiting hour depends on your DC replication interval between the sites. If your replication
interval is 15 minutes between the DC’s then wait for 1 hour. This is to adjust if DC has so much to replicate its own data and may go beyond 15 minutes. The
more you give, more the chances of success.
After one hour, now enable the primary server under replication group for this folder. It will ask you for the path, browse and give the same folder which
was configured earlier.
Again wait for the same time period which you did last time.
After one hour, now enable the secondary server under replication group for this folder. It will ask you for the path. browse and give the same folder which
was configured earlier.
Again wait for one hour and enable the servers one by one if you have more member server sets configured.
Finally wait for some time (more than a hour 😉 or probably next day) and see if the replication is now happening.
If it is replicating, you are awesome! Give me a high five! 🙂
Lesson’s Learnt: One important thing while working with DFSR is to giving enough time window before we make multiple changes at the same time.
Hope this is useful!