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Content Migration with DFSR and questions

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I didn't see a category for this so I'm posting it here. 

Current Environment:

I have four Windows 2012 R2 servers configured for DFS and two namespace servers (DC's). I'm currently using DFS and NOT replication.  I have numerous namespaces, each with only ONE FOLDER TARGET.  I have between 1 and 2tb of space on each DFS server. 

I need to migrate a large high level subdirectory and its content (800gb appx) FROM one of these servers TO a fifth DFS Windows 2012 R2 server in order to more evenly distribute content and balance drive sizes.  I need to do this without risking data content or integrity and keeping all content current and making the process transparent to the user community.  I want to use the replication capability of DFSR?  However, first I have some questions based on the following testing that I completed.


I added a fifth DFS server.  I created FolderA on Server4 of my DFS servers, and created a new Namespace1 with a folder target pointing to \Server4\FolderA.  It worked fine. I then set up the FIRST REPLICATION group using Server4 and Server5 with Server4 as PRIMARY pointing to FolderA (\\SERVER4\FOLDERA) and Server5 as the replication partner using FolderB. (\\SERVER5\FOLDERB)  I DID NOT ADD another folder target to Namespace1. 

I would then open the namespace (\\dfs\namespace1), pasting files to it.  Based on my configuration I anticipated that files would ALWAYS be dropped in \\Server4\FolderA and REPLICATED to \\Server5\FolderB, since my FOLDER TARGET was on Server4. 

However while monitoring the folders on BOTH servers I got mixed results. Sometimes the pasted content showed up FIRST on \\Server5\FolderB and then quickly replicated to \\Server4\FolderA. Other times it would show up on \\Server4\FolderA and replicate to \\Server5\FolderB.  It appears that replication puts content in either one of the replicated folders, IGNORING the Folder Target that was defined.   


With replication configured between two servers is A SINGLE FOLDER TARGET ignored with data going to EITHER location or was I seeing a false result due to the refresh timing of the folders? (I had remote desktops open on BOTH servers and was monitoring the FolderA on Server4 and FolderB on Server5)

What is the best approach to take to migrate the date to the new server?  here is my thought. Please provide input or corrections.



Pre-seed content with Robocopy or a data restore to Server5.

Set up replication using the "Replication Group for Data Collection" option

Allow content to replicate

In the late afternoon, add a new Folder Target (Server5\FolderB) to Namespace1

Delete the ORIGINAL Folder Target (Server4\FolderA) from Namespace1

Delete the Replication Group

This is my thought. What am I missing?  And what will happen to replicated content if I use the steps as shown? I've had strange things occur with Replicated content if it isn't done correctly (the date disappears)

Thanks in advance for your time and input.


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