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FreeNAS / iSCSI / Windows Server 2012/2016 DFS Setup

Mar 8, 2016
Just thought I would post what our current setup is and the reasons why. It may help someone out there if they ran into our problems:

Our problem:

We use Windows DFS for file replication and immediate failover for our file server, but in doing so any backup system would sometimes break DFS (VSS or Acronis needs to lock the files and DFS doesn't like that). So, we thought why not try to use the FreeNAS as our iSCSI and to use the snapshot to create our backups.

Our setup:

Windows Server 2012 using iSCSI to a FreeNAS box which houses the block for our DFS. We run RAIDZ2 with no performance issues so far (we have about 60 staff).

How is it so far?

It's been super great! We get our snapshots the servers are running really great so far. We haven't run into any problems yet.

If you guys have any suggestions, questions or if there are any pitfalls, I would love to hear about them.
Mar 2, 2019
That sounds great, would you mind sharing the steps you follow on the Windows Server and on the Freenas?
Thank you in advanced!


FreeNAS Guru
May 2, 2018
Do you take any steps to quiesce the filesystem before the snapshot is taken? Just thinking you might get an inconsistent backup from a snapshot with a mounted DFS volume on it. (I'm a Unix guy, so forgive me if I'm missing something specific to MS DFS...)