Can we move DFS namespace (including folder targets) to another server "on the fly" whilst DFS is live

Posted on 2008-11-11
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
Hi xperts,

We have a single file and print server that is running DFS (on Windows 2003 Server SP2).  This server used to replicate with other referral servers / target servers but we were having issues with FRS replication so we removed these servers from the FRS replication (hoping that we could resolve the issue and re-instate them at some point).  So now we have one server running our DFS namespace and all the target folders are on this one box.  What we want to do is to start again on a different server and use DFS (not FRS) from the outset.  The problem is that i would prefer to move the DFS from the server that we are having replication issues with to our new server - instead of create a new DFS namespace and migrate the folders / data.

The question that I have is can we move the DFS namespace and all of the target folders from this server to another server on the fly i.e. LIVE whilst the users are still accessing the DFS namespace and targets / folders ?

I was really hoping to move the namespace and target folders to a different server and then remove DFS from the original server - rebuild and re-install DFS.  

Let me know what you think - I know this sounds nuts but we are extremely limited as to how often we can down this particular server (outage is not really an option).


Question by:richardstuartpowell
    LVL 28

    Expert Comment

    Is it a domain-based DFS?
    Does the DFS UNC path contain the domain name and not the server name (FQDN)?
    LVL 2

    Author Comment

    Hi mpfister.

    Yes it is a domain-based DFS (sorry - this is something that I should have included!).

    As you say i.e. the UNC is \\\users$ not\\servername\users$

    Hope you can help master :-)
    LVL 28

    Accepted Solution

    I have no system to check here but if I remember correctly, you can create a duplicate root on the other server, wait a while and then remove the original root.

    "DFS Availability
    Q.      How do I ensure the availability of a DFS namespace?

    The answer depends on type of namespace: stand-alone or domain-based.

    For stand-alone DFS namespaces, you ensure the availability of a stand-alone DFS root by creating it on the cluster storage of a clustered file server by using the Cluster Administrator snap-in.

    For domain-based DFS namespaces, you ensure the availability of domain-based DFS roots by creating multiple root targets on nonclustered file servers or on the local storage of the nodes of server clusters. (Domain-based DFS roots cannot be created on cluster storage.) All root targets must belong to the same domain. To create root targets, use the Distributed File System snap-in or the Dfsutil.exe command-line tool.

    To ensure the availability of domain-based DFS roots, you must have at least two domain controllers and two root targets within the domain that is hosting the root. If you have only one domain controller and it becomes unavailable, the namespace is inaccessible. Similarly, if you have only a single root target, and the server hosting the root target is unavailable, the namespace is also unavailable."

    LVL 2

    Author Closing Comment

    Perfect solution thanks !

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