Thursday, 16 June 2016

SYSVOL folder in active directory

The term SYSVOL refers to a set of files and folders that reside on the local hard disk of each domain controller in a domain and that are replicated by the File Replication service (FRS). Network clients access the contents of the SYSVOL tree by using the NETLOGON andSYSVOL shared folders.

SYSVOL is simply a folder which resides on each and every domain controller within the domain. It contains the domains public files that need to be accessed by clients and kept synchronised between domain controllers.

The SYSVOL folder can be accessed through its share \\\sysvol or the local share name on the server \\servername\sysvol.

We see four folders: domain, staging, staging areas and SYSVOL
Browsing into the domain folder we can see two key folders. Policies and Scripts

The whole purpose of the SYSVOL folder is that is is replicated to all domain controllers throughout the domain. There are two replication technologies used to replicate the SYSVOL folder, File Replication Service and Distributed File System Replication Service.

The main difference with FRS  and Distributed File System Replication Service is that instead of replicating entire files we only replicate the chunks of data that have changed. This is achieved by creating an MD4 hash of the file. This makes it a much more efficient replication protocol compared to FRS. Also the use of inbound and outbound logs is not required as replication partners exchange version vectors to identify which files have to be replicated between them.

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