I'm working on a SQL Server 2000 merge replication configuration for a publication that contains about 60 tables. At least 1000 subscribers (all running SQL Server 2000) will have access to that publication and will synchronize their data daily with the publisher. Because the replication process takes a long time to download the snapshot files from FTP, I'm using dynamic snapshot. How do I avoid creating 1000 different versions of dynamic snapshot files?
Because you're creating 1000 copies of the same dynamic snapshot, consider using a static filter and letting the snapshot agent generate a single set of snapshot files. If your subscribers all receive the same partition of data, you don't need to use dynamic snapshots. Regardless of whether you use a dynamic snapshot with dynamic filters or a normal snapshot with a static-filtered publication, starting with SQL Server 2000 you can specify an alternate folder that the subscriber can use when applying the snapshot. An alternate location is useful for remote pull subscriptions that require large snapshots to be delivered over a slow connection. You can generate—and optionally compress—snapshot files in an alternate location by specifying Alternate Snapshot Location in the Publication Property page in Enterprise Manager. You might want to consider using compressed snapshot files along with FTP to speed file transfer. Distributing a CD-ROM containing the snapshot to your subscribers is another option. For more information, you can review the discussions of these features in the "Applying the Initial Snapshot" section in SQL Server 2000 Books Online (BOL).