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DFS (Distributed File System) truncate share names

Posted on 2010-11-16
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Hello everyone. I'm implementing a DFS server and I'm trying to figure out how to keep my share names as short as possible. Right now, the DFS server only allows me to share my root folders individually and the rest of the files and folders are within that share. For example.

I have created a root called "Public". Inside public I have \\domain\public\department\document\pdfs.
I'd like to be able to type \\domain\pdfs and go straight there.

This is not a great example because I have some much longer folder structures, but it gets the point across. Using an XP machine to share files, I could always just share whatever folder I want and it works like \\domain\sharefolder, but if I manually go to the DFS server and do this then it creates a share at \\dfsserver\share rather than \\domain\share. I'm trying to stick to the \\domain rather than \\dfsserver so that I can replicate this DFS server to a secondary one without any share name issues.

Hopefully that all makes sense. Any help would be much appreciated!
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Question by:sjl1986
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by:kevinhsieh
ID: 34148213
The shortest you can have in DFS is \\domain\DFS-root\share1, so you can have \\domain\public\pdfs if you want to make a link to a pdfs or pdfs$ share on some server. So, \\domain\public\pdfs can point to \\fileserver1\pdfs$, which is a share on D:\public\department\document\pdfs, for example. I like to use sharename$ because it doesn't show up when browsing the server, so people are forced to using the DFS path and mappings that you provide.

If you map a drive, you can map to \\domain\public\department\document\pdfs and that drive letter will have the pdfs directory as the root of the drive. They won't be able to browse up the tree.

I hope this helps.
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by:sjl1986
ID: 34148458
Ok, that's what I pretty much figured. I was just trying to shorten things up to make it easier when I send a user a link to something it's not half a page long. I'll deal with it though.

One other question. Every folder I create has a folder inside called ".DFSFolderLink". If I add a folder in the same folder as .DFSFolderLink, it goes away and becomes present in the next folder down.

\\server\.dfsfolderlink   exists. When adding a share to \\server, it becomes:
\\server\share\.dfsfolderlink

So basically it's in every folder at the bottom of the tree. Do you know what purpose it serves and if it can be hidden? I don't want every one of my user's folders to have that empty folder in with their documents. It's not an accessible folder even by administrator. It gives and error that it is not accessible.
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by:sjl1986
ID: 34163962
I'd appreciate just a little more help on this if possible.

I ran into one other problem today....Do I have to create New folders in the DFS Management console for every single folder I want in DFS? Or can I just create the root folders and let all the sub folders be copied in windows? It would take a really long time to build separate folders for everything. I just want to make sure the folders still work fine and replicate if I just create them within windows under the DFS roots folder.
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kevinhsieh earned 500 total points
ID: 34166629
It all depends on the physical filesystem where your shares are located. You have to create a DFS link for every unique share that you map to.

For example, you could have \\domain\dfsrootshare\departments\Accounting, \\domain\dfsrootshare\departments\HR, \\domain\dfsrootshare\departments\Engineering, and have each of those pointing to their own share.  You can also do \\domain\dfsrootshare\departments, and have that point to \\fileserver\departments, as long as \\fileserver\departments conatained Accounting, HR, and Engineering.

You can also use dfsutil, which is a command line utility to do all things DFS related.

http://blogs.technet.com/b/josebda/archive/2009/05/01/using-the-windows-server-2008-dfsutil-exe-command-line-to-manage-dfs-namespaces.aspx 
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by:sjl1986
ID: 34168026
Ok thanks. I still don't understand what the .DFSFolderLink is there for. I can't rename, delete, or even open it. I just left them in all the folders since nobody can open or edit them I guess they can't be hurt in any way. Thanks for the link. I'll look into that.
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Expert Comment

by:Glen Knight
ID: 34824877
This question has been classified as abandoned and is being closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See my comment at the end of the question for more details.
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