Branch Office Solutions in Windows Server 2003 R2: Webcast (5-19-2006)

Good Afternoon all my DFS enthusiasts!

Thank you for attending the web cast on Branch Office Solutions in Windows Server 2003 R2, as promised here is the scrubbed Q/A log.  I also have a few really good resources for you to help with Windows 2003R2. 

Here is where you can find the session documentation for the web cast:

There is a free Virtual Lab on the DFS portion of the web cast:
Windows Server 2003 R2: Distributed File System (DFS) Virtual Lab

Watch the stream of the web cast here:
Branch Office Solutions in Windows Server 2003 R2

Please comment if you need more information. 


Question: What would be the difference in functionality between a SBS2003 R2 main server with a Windows Standard 2003 R2 branch Office server and a Windows 2003 R2 Domain Controller in the main office and a Windows 2003 R2 in the branch office in terms of Branch Office functionality?
Answer: Actually the differences are a lot larger than I first mentioned on the webcast.  There is a tremendous amount that is different with SBS R2 vs 2003 R2.  There is a great FAQ here:   so really the main difference in the question is the SBS will continue to use the older methods for DFS.

Question: Do you have any comparison between DFS-R in R2 with Riverbed’s WADS or other vendors’ WAFS?
Answer:  Unfortunately I am not very familiar with that 3rd party applications.  Thanks to Jeremy I was able to do a little research on those vendors, and based on what I saw they were down at the hardware level.  So in a sense they would help improve overall traffic. 

Take a look here to look at the tools: 

Question: One problem I have with DFS is that it does not guarantee synchronization. E.g. it does not check against the “master copy” for update. Will Microsoft make any enhancement in this regard?
Answer:  This is a great comment; Microsoft has done some improvements mainly on how we now work with replication at the individual change level.  This is key; remember DFS will replicate the changes of the file, so now for the conflict to occur the users have to be making a change in the same document but also the same area of the doc.
Here are a couple of good articles for you:

Question: How can we use DFS with Exchange and SQL server?
Answer: You cannot use DFS for Exchange and SQL Server.

Question: If we were considering upgrading to R2 for DFS support. What systems would need updating?
Answer: Take a look here for the Windows 2003 R2 DFS Step by step guide:

Question: Does SysVol leverage the new features?
Answer: No SysVol, still leverages the FRS for replication.  This is the FRS’ main role.

Question: I have windows 2003 server do I need to by the 2003 R2?
Answer: Potentially depends on how you bought 2003.  R2 is a separate product.

Comments (3)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Good afternoon everyone,

    I want to make a quick correction to an entry titled: Branch Office Solutions…

  2. John Riddle says:


    I have a Windows 2003 Server Enterprise environment. I do not have an SA subscription. I have SP2 installed on all servers. How do I get the features available in R2 without completely repurchasing all my operating systems? Are the components available for download? Specifically, the DFS Management console?


  3. Matt Hester says:

    The components are not available for download, these are only available in the R2 server.  Wish I had a better answer for you.