Using a source representative
A source representative is a managed Windows device that indexes files on the source server. Source representatives are an optional part of content replication. If your source server has thousands of files, it can take a while for a replicator to index files on its own, especially if that replicator doesn't have a low-latency connection to the source. In this case, designating a managed Windows device near or on the source server to be a source representative can speed up replications, because the replicator can quickly retrieve the file index from the source representative.
Any managed Windows device can be a source representative. It doesn't need to be a dedicated computer or a server. For it to be effective, it should be able to have a low-latency high-speed connection to the source server. If the source server is a managed Windows device (and not a SAN or Linux device, for example), the source representative can be on the source server.
The source representative uses the source server credentials you specify to build an XML file containing information about all files on the source share. It builds this file on-demand, but not more than once an hour. You don't need to manually map a drive to the source server or create any network connections to the source server. That will be handled automatically by the management agents.
When a replication job starts that uses a source representative, the replicator will use the XML file from the source representative to decide which files need to be replicated. The source representative's involvement in the replication job is done once it passes the XML file to the replicator.