DFS Architecture

Posted on 2009-04-09
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I am looking at setting up a DFS environment and have a questionon storage. Here is the design idea.

4 Virtual Servers Running Windows 2008 and DFS. My Storage will come from a SAN.

Do the servers all need to see the same Storage areas on the SAN or do they need to all have thier own storage on the SAN? Does the storage need to be equal for all the servers for repliation? Is this like clusters?

One of the virtual servers is in a totally different location so I would have 2 there and 2 at the primary location setup with MESH topology.

I do not understand the storage aspect of this thoguh. Any help or suggestions would be great.
Question by:Y2KBDS
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Expert Comment

ID: 24111679

If you're looking to deploy a domain-based namespace, hosted by those 4 servers, then they can all access the same area of the SAN. This would give you some resilience - if one Virtual Server failed, the DFS share will still be accessible via another server.

If you are looking to use DFS Replication to replicate data between servers / SAN LUNs, then you NEED the different servers to replicate to their own SAN storage areas.

LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 24111765
Having implemented DFS in 2003 R2 and being disappointed in the result, I have a question.  Will users at the primary and secondary locations ever try to access the same file at the same time?  [DFS does not do file locking.  Users can access copies of the same file in different replicas simultaneously.  When the files are replicated, you get DFS conflicts, which are messy to resolve.]

Author Comment

ID: 24112447
I am looking at doing replication so each server would have to have enough space to handle replication? For example server 1 will go to department 1 and server 2 for department 2 and so on. So if the folders replicate then there would have to be idenical space on the others servers to replicate?
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LVL 58

Expert Comment

ID: 24114185

If you use the same location on the SAN drive, there would be no benefit to configuring replication. DFS-Replication (DFS-R) is intended for replicating data between servers, or to put it more appropriately in this case, between storage areas. Attempting to replicate data between the same storage area on the SAN drive will not work - and is not how DFS-R is intended to be used.

What was the reason behind using different servers for different departments, if they use the same back-end storage? Would one file server running the data shares (or two in a DFS Domain-Based Namespace) not suffice?


Author Comment

ID: 24114701
i never meant to imply that they would have the same storage area. I want to use replications which I know means that they would have their own storage areas. My question is this, do the servers all need the same drive space for replication? I am not sure if I understand the space requirements if I want everything replicated.
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Accepted Solution

tigermatt earned 500 total points
ID: 24114760

Thanks for clarifying.

If you want replication to take place, the storage space for the shares must be the same for each server's storage area. No compression will take place, so the space utilised by the storage share currently will be the same space required on every other server's storage area.

You will also need to take into account the DfsrPrivate folder will be created by DFS; for initial replication, this may grow particularly large.

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Expert Comment

ID: 24132299
A 'B' grade? Can you please clarify exactly why?

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