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  • DFS storage location question

    Another DFS newbie question... I am setting up a new 2003 server that is going to store the shared data from an old W2K server and run DFS.

    What is the best practice for physically locating the folders that contain the file share data? In the DFS name space root (e.g. X:\DFSRoots\old folders) or should I put the old folders in a seperate location and then create folder links in DFS to the physical folders?

    I'm not sure it even matters but don't want to get bitten later down the road

    Thanks
    Mike S

  • #2
    Re: DFS storage location question

    Well I've never done it but I would probably not put the actual folders in the same location as the DFS folders (I'm not even sure it's possible to do so). DFS will create a directory structure there and you won't want to put the actual shared folders there.

    Also, in my previous reply to your other DFS post I said that the DFS root does not "show up" anywhere. That's technically not true, it will show up as a share on the DFS Root server(s).

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    • #3
      Re: DFS storage location question

      Mikes1p. We have 10 servers around Australia. Each server has a shared folder which will eventually be the branches of the DFS.

      On a DC, we created a New Root and added New Links to the root. The links being the shared folders on each of the 10 servers. This is the fundamental basics of DFS.

      You can now add security to the sub-folders by logging onto each of your remote servers, going to the shared folder and applying relevant security.

      As for your question, if the old server will not be around much longer then you should copy the data to your nominal file server which is where is should remain for good. IF you only have one source for your files, then why not just use FRS instead? DFS is more for taking many distributed folders and placing them under one namespace.
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      • #4
        Re: DFS storage location question

        Thanks again for the reply

        I noticed that in my tests, but it's not what I want for end users, I just want one place for everything that our users need. Mapping drives will work since that is what most users are used to. A few use Network Neighborhood fairly often so they will need to get used to the idea of entering the UNC path for the namespace root or just know that the shares on serverX is the same thing thing

        Mike S

        Originally posted by joeqwerty View Post
        Also, in my previous reply to your other DFS post I said that the DFS root does not "show up" anywhere. That's technically not true, it will show up as a share on the DFS Root server(s).

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        • #5
          Re: DFS storage location question

          I want to use DFS for a bunch of reasons. I want to migrate to using a name space instead of server name for accessing shares so we have flexibility down the road to add servers or shares no matter where they are. We are going to add an additional server in a branch office and I want the users there to have the same shares/files as our HQ. They are used to working off the old fileserver at our HQ as well. So my plan is to use DFS to present the shares and use DFS replication between the two sites, it also provides a level of Disaster Recovery too

          Mike S

          Originally posted by JDMils View Post
          As for your question, if the old server will not be around much longer then you should copy the data to your nominal file server which is where is should remain for good. IF you only have one source for your files, then why not just use FRS instead? DFS is more for taking many distributed folders and placing them under one namespace.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: DFS storage location question

            It sounds like you have a solid plan and your thinking is right on target. I say "go forth". LOL.

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            • #7
              Re: DFS storage location question

              So my plan is to use DFS to present the shares and use DFS replication between the two sites, it also provides a level of Disaster Recovery too
              Are you sure about that? Each sub-folder on the DFS is a shared folder on the relevant server, so if that server goes down then you lose access to the relevant branch on the DFS.

              Like I said before, you need to implement FRS where all files are centrally located on one server and replicated to all other servers in the site. Sounds more like what you are explaining!
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              • #8
                Re: DFS storage location question

                Originally posted by JDMils View Post
                Are you sure about that? Each sub-folder on the DFS is a shared folder on the relevant server, so if that server goes down then you lose access to the relevant branch on the DFS.

                Like I said before, you need to implement FRS where all files are centrally located on one server and replicated to all other servers in the site. Sounds more like what you are explaining!
                That is what I am doing, I didn't go into every detail in my previous posts to keep it short.

                I ended up setting up the DFS namespace on a DC in our HQ with DFS links to shares on the new file server. I have two file servers, one in our HQ, one in our Remote office, the file server in our Remote office is also a DC. I am using 2003 R2 DFS to present one common path/namespace no matter which location a user is in and so I can change/move/replace the source file servers as needed. I have setup FRS to replicate between the two, it's working great so far. Users will not be collaborating on files, I am implementing SharePoint for that

                Thanks for the reply
                Mike S

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                • #9
                  Re: DFS storage location question

                  Note that if you only have one namespace server and it goes offline the namespace will go down and users will need to revert to using the physical path of the shares.

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                  • #10
                    Re: DFS storage location question

                    Your thinking and architecture is spot on Mike.

                    DFS is exactly what you need, and one of it many strengths.

                    A
                    Last edited by bunce; 24th May 2008, 05:57.

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                    • #11
                      Re: DFS storage location question

                      Just make sure you use 2003 r2 with DFS Replication and not FRS and you should be fine
                      VCP on vSphere (4), MCITP:EA/DBA, MCTS:Blahblah

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                      • #12
                        Re: DFS storage location question

                        I work with a company who used to use the old DFS to replicate data between 4 different sites. The folder was 9GB and growing at a rapid rate. Their internet used to be very slow since DFS was just replicating all the time. I since upgraded all their servers from 2003 to 2003 R2 and moved them to DFS-R. Not only is the compression is a huge help but the fact it only replicates the changed data rather than the whole file itself. DFS-R is a great advancement for WAN replication.

                        This is a good video of DFS-R
                        Please remember to leave positive reputation points (The Ying Yang Icon) if someone helps you.

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                        • #13
                          Re: DFS storage location question

                          DFS does not replicate data. Only FRS replicates data:

                          From Wikipedia:

                          When users try to access a share that exists off the DFS root, the user is really looking at a DFS link and the DFS server transparently redirects them to the correct file server and share.

                          ....

                          The file and root information is replicated via the Microsoft File Replication Service (FRS).
                          Thus, only AD data pertaining to the DFS structure is replicating across DCs amongst the rest of the AD replicated data. So if one of your links is over a slow link, when your users access that folder/link on the DFS, access will be slow for those files.
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                          +-- Regional Systems Engineer, DotNet programmer & Jack of all trades
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                          • #14
                            Re: DFS storage location question

                            JD - please read the above posts in detail as well of a quick search of the Microsoft site. Wikepedia shouldn't be relied on for facts.

                            FRS is dated (and buggy) technology. It has been replaced by a more efficient and reliable technology called DFS Replication (or DFS-R), available in Windows 2003-R2 and later.

                            FRS NO-LONGER performs the replication in this scenario. About the only thing remaining in 2003 that is replicated using FRS is the SYSVOL share. In 2008 MS have fixed this for good and I believe it now uses DFS-R also.

                            DFS includes a number of enhanced features including those that ensure users are directed to the most appropriate link, as well as fallback functionality.

                            A
                            Last edited by bunce; 27th May 2008, 10:53.

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