Inappropriate Scenarios for Using FRS

Replication should not be used in the following scenarios.

In organizations with no operations group or dedicated administrators

Organizations that do not have the staff or the time to monitor FRS event logs on each replica member should not implement FRS. Organizations must also have well-defined procedures in place to prevent the accidental or unintentional deletion of data in the replica set, because deleting a file or folder from one replica member causes the file or folder (and its contents) to be deleted from all replica members. In addition, if a folder is moved out of the replica tree, FRS deletes the folder and its contents on the remaining replica members.


In organizations that do not update virus signatures or closely manage folder permissions

A virus in FRS-replicated content can spread rapidly to replica members and to clients that access the replicated data. Viruses are especially damaging in environments where the Everyone group has share permissions or NTFS permissions to modify content. To prevent the spread of viruses, it is essential that replica members have FRS-compatible, up-to-date virus scanners installed on the servers and on clients that access replicated data.

For information about running antivirus software on SYSVOL, see article 822158, "Virus Scanning on a Domain Controller" at For information about antivirus software that is compatible with FRS, see 815263, "Antivirus, Backup, and Disk Optimization Programs That Are Compatible with the File Replication Service" at

When the rate of change exceeds what FRS can replicate

If you plan to schedule replication to occur during a specified replication window, verify that FRS can replicate all the changed files within the window. Replication throughput is determined by a number of factors:

Each organization will have different FRS throughput rates, depending on these factors. In addition, if your data compresses extremely well, your file throughput will be higher. To determine the replication rate, perform testing in a lab environment that resembles your production environment.

If the amount of data changes exceeds what FRS can replicate in a given period of time, you need to change one of these factors, such as increasing the speed of the disk subsystem (number of disks, mechanical speed, or disk cache) or network. If no change is possible, FRS is not recommended for your organization.

In organizations that always use clustered file servers

Some organizations use clustered file servers regardless of whether the server contains business-critical data. Although it might seem that storing FRS-replicated content on the shared cluster storage of a clustered file server would increase the availability of the data even more, combining clustering and FRS is not recommended because you then have the weaker guarantees of asynchronous file replication, but the more stringent configuration requirements of a cluster. In addition, Windows Server 2003 and Windows 2000 Server do not support configuring FRS to replicate data on cluster storage.

In organizations that use Remote Storage

Remote Storage is a feature that automatically copies infrequently used files on local volumes to a library of magnetic tapes or magneto-optical disks. Organizations that use Remote Storage must not use FRS on the same volume. Specifically, do not perform any of the following tasks:

When locks by users or processes prevent updates to files and folders

FRS does not replicate locked files or folders to other replica members, nor does FRS update a file on a replica member if the local file is open. If users or processes frequently leave files open for extended periods, consider using clustering instead of FRS.

FRS does not replicate files until the file has been closed for 3 seconds. If files are changed but are then held open (or reopened) exclusively, before FRS is able to create a staging file of that change, then FRS cannot replicate the file until it has been closed again.

When the data to be replicated is on mounted drives

If a mounted drive exists in a replica tree, FRS does not replicate the data in the mounted drive.

When the data to be replicated is encrypted by using EFS

FRS does not replicate files encrypted by using EFS, nor does FRS warn you that EFS-encrypted files are present in the replica set.

When the FRS jet database, FRS logs, and staging directory are stored on volumes where NTFS disk quotas are enabled

If you plan to store a replica set on a volume where disk quotas are enabled, you must move the staging directory, FRS jet database, and FRS logs to a volume where disk quotas are disabled.