Review Requirements for DFS Replication

Updated: October 16, 2013

Applies To: Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2

Before you can deploy DFS Replication, you must configure your servers as follows:

  • Extend (or update) the Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) schema to include Windows Server 2003 R2 or newer schema additions. To use read-only replicated folders, the schema must include the Windows Server 2008 or newer schema additions. For information about extending the AD DS schema, see the Microsoft Web site at (

  • Ensure that all servers in a replication group are located in the same forest. You cannot enable replication across servers in different forests.

  • Install DFS Replication on all servers that will act as members of a replication group.

  • Install the DFS Management snap-in on a server that is not using the Server Core installation option to manage replication. Windows Server 2012 R2 introduces a Windows PowerShell module that can be used to manage DFS Replication.

  • Contact your antivirus software vendor to check that your antivirus software is compatible with DFS Replication.

  • Store replicated folders on NTFS volumes.

  • To include a failover cluster in a replication group, the failover cluster can’t be running Windows Server 2008 or earlier. Install and configure the failover cluster feature and then use the High Availability Wizard to create a clustered File Server instance before adding the instance as a replication group member. For more information, see Add a Failover Cluster to a Replication Group.

    On a server that is running a version of Windows older than Windows Server 2008 R2, locate replicated folders for failover clusters in the local storage of a node. Versions of the DFS Replication service older than Windows Server 2008 R2 are not designed to coordinate with cluster components, and the service will not fail over to another node.

  • DFS Replication is not supported on Windows Server 2003. DFS Replication is supported on all x64 editions of Windows Server 2008 R2 and all x64 and x86 editions of Windows Server 2008. DFS Replication is not available for Itanium-Based Systems.

Additional references