Clearing up a common misconception about hub and spoke topologies in DFS Replication

When you set up a replication group in Windows Server 2003 R2, you are given the choice of several topologies, including hub and spoke. A common misconception about this topology is that the hub is a “master” and changes made on spokes will not be replicated back to the hub. Here’s an example of the questions we’re asked on this subject:

If the topology is set up for hub and spoke, and the spoke were to accidentally delete an item, this should not reflect back to the hub, correct? This should be a one way transfer. What we are seeing is our hub replicates out to the spokes perfectly, but if the spoke deletes an item, the item is then deleted from our hub share. It seems to be acting like a full mesh topology, but it was originally set up at as hub and spoke.

The behavior the customer describes is by design. Because DFS Replication is a multimaster replication engine, any change made on any spoke is replicated back to the hub and to the other spokes. To prevent changes from occurring on spokes, we recommend using shared folder permissions.