Introduction to FRS
File Replication service is a multithreaded replication engine that replaces the LMRepl service that is used in Microsoft® Windows NT®. Multithreaded means that several processes can run at the same time to handle multiple tasks. This allows FRS to replicate different files between different computers simultaneously.
FRS does not guarantee the order in which files arrive. Files begin replication in sequential order based on when the files are closed, but file size and link speed determine the order of completion. Because FRS replicates only whole files, the entire file is replicated even if you change only a single byte in the file.
FRS expands on the functionality provided by LMRepl with the following enhancements:
Multimaster replication of files and folders for allowing updates to occur independently on any server in the domain.
Site-aware clients (Microsoft® Windows® 2000, Microsoft® Windows NT® version 4.0, Microsoft® Windows® 95, and Microsoft® Windows 98 with the Active Directory add-on) for locating nearby servers hosting SYSVOL and Dfs content.
Configurable schedules for replicating Dfs and SYSVOL content between sites.
Automatic replication of folder and file attributes including ACLs.
Like LMRepl, FRS is automatically installed on Windows 2000 domain controllers and configured to start automatically. For member servers, the service start value is initially set to manual.
There is no administrative console for FRS. SYSVOL replication occurs automatically just like directory replication. Replication of Dfs files and folders is controlled by the Dfs administrative snap-in.
Although Active Directory replication and File Replication service are separate mechanisms, they are conceptually similar. Therefore, it can be useful to read about directory replication when you are learning about FRS. For information about directory replication, see "Active Directory Replication" in this book.