A few weeks ago my DFSR database crashed, and crashed hard. I won’t go into the details of my troubleshooting steps, mostly because I didn’t make good notes while it was on-going and I was very sleep deprived. Suffice to say I spent many hours trying to resolve it, and wasn’t successful.
It was a Tuesday night that I disabled the DFS folder targets on my branch office servers, forcing all of my remote users to access our namespace over the VPN. I was hesitant to do it since our fastest link is 5 Mbps but it was the only way to ensure data integrity. Following that we needed to manually sync the data from our spoke servers to the hub since there had been 3 days of non-replication.
While that was going on, I began looking for a solution to our problem. Our problem is that we need to have those within our branch offices working on the same files as the head office. These are files used across a variety of applications including AutoCAD and ArcGIS, so our users are expecting fast access to data that can be quite large.
This is something that is difficult to find information on; not many people are talking about how they handle branch office file collaboration especially in a larger company.
In my case I tested PeerSync for a few days to see if it could replace DFSR however there were a few problems we encountered with our environment which make it unsuitable. In the end I re-implemented DFSR across our 2.5TB of data, and just waited for initial replication. This took another week.
Since then DFSR has been running smoothly, however I’m still looking for a replacement that will be scalable for my company as we grow in offices and data size.
Right now, I’m considering two options:
- Remote Desktop / VDI
- WAN Acceleration
Both would be a fairly substantial capital investment initially, but with the growth my company has seen it is inevitable. It has been a long time since my last post because I’ve worked so much overtime lately with this issue in the midst of other projects occurring, and I just haven’t had the mental capacity to sit down and write.
In the next week or two I’ll be noting my thoughts on the two options above.