Top Two Ways to Synchronize Files between Windows Servers

Posted by @Ivy

August 22, 2017

Synchronizing files or folders between Windows server is very useful for people with multiple servers. It can help you enjoy all the shared files or folders

Scenario

I have multiple Windows servers. And I want to synchronize files between Windows servers. But I don't how to realize this purpose. Any suggestion and comment are welcome.

Why do you want to synchronize files between Windows Servers

In general, if you have a work team or cooperate with a team, you may need to see the files or folders of your team. Also, you need to keep up with the changed, newly added or deleted files if someone modifies it.

Aside by that, Data loss prevention, file transfer, centralized file management can still be the reason why you need to synchronize files between servers.

How to synchronize files between Windows Servers?

To help you sync files between Windows Servers, I will show you two ways. The first one is to synchronize files via built-in tool DFS Replication. The second one is to make use of Windows Server Backup software to sync files.

Synchronize files between Windows Server using DFS Replication

What is Windows Server DFS Replication?

Windows Server DFS replication is one of role services in the File and Storage Services role. This technology was first introduced in Windows Server 2003 R2. And this technology in later Windows Server including Windows Server 2008/2008 R2/2012 have a continuous improvement. So you can use DFS files/folders replication among Windows Server 2003 R2/2008/2008 R2/2012.

With DFS Replication, you can efficiently replicate files or folders across multiple servers and sites. And it uses a compression algorithm known as remote differential compression (RDC) to detect changes to the data in a file, then enables DFS Replication to replicate only the changed file blocks rather than the entire file.

Detailed steps to sync files between Windows Servers

Whenever you meet problems concerned to your computer, you may think about Windows built-in tool. File sync is not an exception.

Install DFS replication

Step 1: Enter the main page of Server Manager, click Role on the left panel and tag on Add Roles on the right panel.

Add Roles

Step 2: Click Server Roles and tick the checkbox before File Services, then tap on Next

Choose File Services

Step 3: Click Role Services and tick the checkbox before DFS Replication, then tag on Next

Choose DFS Replication

Step 4: Confirm you want to install the roles, role services, or features, then click Install

Install DFS Replication

Step 5: Wait for the installation process, then click Close after you see Installation succeeded.

Installation Succeed

Configure DFS Replication and perform the first file replication

Step 1: Click Start -> Administrative Tools -> DFS Management subsequently, then Right click Replication and choose New Replication Group in the DFS Management console.

Replication and New Replication Group

Step 2: choose Replication Group Type as below.

Replication Group Type

Step 3: Set a name and domain for your replication group, then click Next

Name and Domain

Step 4: Click Add and look up the servers in Active Directory, then select the servers you want to share files or folders and click Next

Step 5: Select Full Mesh in the Topology Selection. This feature allows the files you shared stay to sync among all of the servers regardless of where the files are updated. You will be noted to use Hub and spoke.

Notice:

1. You need at least three servers to execute this operation

2. You will be noted to use Hub and spoke. However, there is no need to use it in most cases. So you can use it or not according to your situation.

Step 6: Choose to use full bandwidth if you want to keep the files in sync all the time.

Step 7: To avoid file conflict in the first synchronization, you need to choose a Primary member. After the first synchronization, all the files will be synchronized nearly instantaneously, because the Full mesh topology treats all servers as equals.

Step 8: Click Add and you will enter a new window, then select the folders you want to replicate and click Next. You can use the default existing permissions because it works in most cases. However, you still can set custom permissions.

Step 9: Now, you will see all servers you selected before. And you will be noted that the local path is not set and it's disabled. Then click Edit and select enabled as well as choose the local folder on the remote server.

Step 10: Review whatever you have selected,confirm all the settings and click Create. Wait for the final result.

Follow the steps from above, you can sync files among multiple servers you want to. However, if you want to properly use DFS, the servers need to be part of an Active Directory Domain. And it only supports NTFS file system, so you cannot sync files with other file systems, such as FAT, ReFS, etc. At the same time, when you sync files, you will receive some error code including error code: 1706, error code: 9026, error code: 9036, error code: 9098, etc. It makes users feel upset.

Now, you may need a Windows Server Backup software which can help you sync files effortlessly. To save your time and effort, I will show you AOMEI Backupper Server below and how to sync files via it.

Synchronize files between Windows Server via AOEMI Backupper Server

What is AOMEI Backupper Server?

AOMEI Backupper Server is a backup and restore software which is aimed to solve the problem of server users. It can not only solve your problem concerned to backup and restore feature but also clone feature. With it, you can sync files or folders easily. And in the latest version, there is a new feature called real-time file sync. It is used to monitor the files for changes and synchronize the new added, modified or deleted files from source to target path as soon as the change has occurred.

Specific steps to sync files between Windows servers

Step 1: Create a shared folder and set up permission for Windows servers you want to sync files.

Step 2: Download AOMEI Backupper Server, install and launch it.

Step 3: Click Backup and File Sync subsequently

File Sync

Step 4: Click Add Folder to select the file or folder you want to sync to your shared folder, then select the destination path for it. After all finish, click Start Sync.

Start Sync

Step 5: Click Schedule and choose Real-time Sync if you want to real-time monitor the source files or folders. If you choose this feature, the program will sync the changed files or folders immediately when the source files or folders have been changed.

Real Time Sync

Step 6: Up to now, you can access the shared folder on other servers and check whatever you want. To sync the shared folder to other servers, you need to repeat above steps and add the shared folders in Step 1, then select a destination path on the other servers.

Conclusion

For whatever reasons you want to synchronize files between Windows Servers, you can follow above steps to realize your purpose. AOMEI Backupper server is a magic software. It can sync files in a few clicks. It still can realize other backup features, such as Differential Backup, Backup Incremental to Network Share, File Backup, etc.