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DFS Design- Need help

I am looking to do a DFS server and need a bit of advice on design.  Assume I have 2 shares I wish to DFS across 2 servers

The 2 shares are Users and Company.  I currently have them nested on \\server1\shares.  

Would I create a DFS Root for each individual share or would I make a DFS Root for each share.

Any "best practice" suggestions on design.  I am planning to do AD-Mode.  The 2 server are W2003 member servers in a Windows 2000 native mode domain.

Thanks for any advice.

Steve
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smeek
Asked:
smeek
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1 Solution
 
HousenetCommented:
Hello,
Anything you need related to DFS is here
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/techinfo/overview/dfsfaq.mspx

Here is a small sample regarding your design advice help..

Q. How does DFS target selection work?
 
A. In Windows Server 2003, DFS offers three methods of target selection: default target selection, restricted same-site target selection, and least expensive target selection (also called site-costing). ETC...

 
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smeekAuthor Commented:
I read through the generic stuff and white papers and have more specific questions.  Can you assist?

Steve
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HousenetCommented:
Sure... Shoot.
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NJComputerNetworksCommented:
Scenerio:

The 2 shares are Users and Company.  I currently have them nested on \\server1\shares.  

Would I create a DFS Root for each individual share or would I make a DFS Root for each share.

Answer:

Make one DFS root in your domain.  Users can access the root by typeing \\domain.com\dfsrootname

Under \\domain.com\dfsrootname, the clients will be able to see the shares.  These shares are no longer server dependant.  So, the client doesn't care where the shares sit.

- Create a share USERS on Server1
- Create a share called COMPANY DATA on Server 2

Now in the DFS administrator you can point to these servers / shares.  The DFS root will redirect clients to the proper server automatically.

Under \\domain.com\dfsrootname\ --> client will see share USERS and COMPANY DATA.  When they click on them, they will be redirected to the proper server.

You can publish the DFS root share in AD to make it easier for clients to find.

Note:  You can also create DFS replicas.  DFS replica's will synchronize the data between two or more shares.  However, this should only be performed with read only data.

Thank you,

Joe Poandl MCSE


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smeekAuthor Commented:
The issue was that I was creating my shares under the folders where I created my DFSRoot.  It took MS Support several hours to figure that out, but at least it is resolved.  Also, since I had 40 GB worth of share data, they suggested I not use DFS as it would burden replication too much, even in a LAN DFS scenario.

Steve  
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NJComputerNetworksCommented:
(I'm glad you got this figured out... although, the MS tech gave you incorrect advice about the DFS replication.  I've setup DFS replication across multiple WAN conected sites with more then 200GB's of data without any problems.  I've also had several conversations with Microsoft about how they use DFS replica's...and they have DFS replica's spanning the country with more then 500GB's.  So, I do't think 40Gb's is too much data for DFS.  However, DFS data replication is meant for primarily read only data.)

but anyway, I'm glad to see your problem is gone..

Thank you,

Joe Poandl MCSE
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smeekAuthor Commented:
So, are you using it for read only data?  My plan was to set up 2 Win2003 servers on my W2k network.  I was going to set up 2 servers that were mirrors of each other and locate user shares there.  I backed off due to the engineers statement, so I have one server doing nothing.

I am using offline files, but would rather have DFS in place, if it makes better sense.  Could you share your thoughts?

Steve
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NJComputerNetworksCommented:
Yeah over 200gb's of data is being replicated over 5 sites.  These sites are WAN connected.  The data is MSI package installation files.  The idea is that a GPO tells what software is to be installed.  The clients then pull the data install files from the DFS tree.  Because some of the packages are very large (like Office), it is important that the clients pull the data from local servers.  DFS is built to utilize the Client Awareness feature.  This allows the client to realize where the closest share point is.  The data is then downloaded locally as apposed to over the wAN.

The data was read only for everyone except for the MSI adminsitrator.  He would update the MSI packages through one share.  The data would then get replicated out to the other replica's using the replication schedule we defined in AD Sites and Services.

In you case, I would say that you can use DFS.  If only one user will have the ability to write data, then you will be OK.  The problem is when two people try to update the same file.  In cases like this, whoever saves the file last will WIN.  The person who updated the file first will have no idea that some else had the file open.  So, this is why you should stick to read only data.  In your case, if only one user is given access to the share point, then DFS will work.

I would create a DFS root called something like USER DATA

clients would see this as:  \\domainname.com\user data

Under this DFS root, you would have the user individual foldres

\\domainname.com\user data\bob
\\domainname.com\user data\sara
\\domainname.com\user data\clint ...etc

Configure a replica for each user (one for bob, sara, etc)

This should work fine...

Thank you,

Joe Poandl MCSE
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