Is there a program that can do "one to many" synchronization?
December 20, 2007 5:41 AM   Subscribe

Is there a program that can do "one to many" synchronization to a large amount of PC's?

Here's the situation. We have about 100 computers, including laptops sometimes on a slow link, that need to synchronize a set of files to run from the road (or even to run from their desk if we want). The files are stored in a central repository on our servers.

So we need a program that can have a lot of computers access one place, pull the latest information (preferably in an incremental fashion), and as much as possible, always be up to date.

Thanks for your help everyone!

P.S. - We're talkin' Windows XP and Server 2003
posted by sav2880 to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
rsync. Comes with Cygwin.
posted by grouse at 5:46 AM on December 20, 2007

No need for cygwin cludgery (Please don't flame me, I use cygwin myself. But I prefer native tools). Use Robocopy from the windows 2003 resource kit. Copy it to every machine's path, use a simple batch script to execute a "robocopy /MIR" and you're done.
/MIR will only replace changed/new files and delete all files no longer in the source. If you want a different behavior, check the help file. Robocopy does all kinds of replication. It will retry/wait the replication process if anything goes wrong or is not available. You can configure that too.

posted by Nightwind at 6:13 AM on December 20, 2007

Stupid bracket filter. Robocopy syntax is of course:
robocopy [source dir] [target dir] /MIR
for simple mirroring.
posted by Nightwind at 6:14 AM on December 20, 2007

Seconding Robocopy. It's got a ton of options, so you'll definitely be able to find something that addresses your needs.
posted by JaredSeth at 6:27 AM on December 20, 2007

Since you're already relying on MS products, FolderShare is awesome for this kind of thing.

Also look at iFolder, which is an open source version of the same concept.

Both of these are set it and forget it options. You install the program, set it up, and it will automatically sync up the folders. FolderShare allows you to specify pretty advanced permissions for one way or two way sync and who can do what.
posted by AaRdVarK at 7:06 AM on December 20, 2007

Response by poster: Robocopy seems to do the job. I agree, cygwin is nice, but I need something that I can easily deploy to about 150 computers, this being one file fits the bill nicely.

One clarification I want to make sure of .... the /MIR command line option will also synronize deletions, right?
posted by sav2880 at 7:24 AM on December 20, 2007

the /MIR command line option will also synronize deletions

Robocopy won't do the synchronization, in the sense of timing; it will do the file mirroring, i.e both replication and, yes, deletion. You can use Scheduled Tasks (look in Control Panel), or set up an AT command (in a Command Prompt window type AT /?) to have Robohelp automatically run at specific times.
posted by anadem at 7:51 AM on December 20, 2007

Or you can have a batch containing the robocopy command run from either the startup folder or with the run key in the registry.
posted by Mitheral at 8:04 AM on December 20, 2007

Just to clarify, yes, /MIR will delete files not in the source folder(s). This is obviously somewhat dangerous if there is any chance a user will save a file into the target folders at some point, only to have it wiped out by the next run of robocopy.
posted by Nightwind at 1:40 AM on December 21, 2007

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