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Microsoft Supported DFS, Offline Files, and FRS Deployments
Description Limit or Recommendation* Explanation
Number of characters in path limit
Fewer than 260 characters
Win32 application programming interfaces (APIs) have a maximum path limit of 260 characters. Applications fail when trying to access a namespace that goes beyond that limit. If the path length of a DFS namespace exceeds the Win32 API limit of 260 characters, users must map part of the namespace to a drive letter and access the longer namespace through the mapped drive letter.
Number of DFS roots per server running Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition
One, unless a hotfix is installed
Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition, is limited to one root per server. To create multiple domain-based namespaces on a server running Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition, install the hotfix described in article 903651 in the Microsoft Knowledge Base on the Microsoft Web site.
Number of DFS roots per server running Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition, or Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition
There is no limit to the number of DFS roots you can create on a server running Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition, or Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition. However, as you increase the number of roots per server, the DFS service takes longer to start and uses more memory.
Number of root targets per domain-based DFS root
No fixed limit
If you do not enable root scalability mode, we recommend using 16 or fewer root targets to limit traffic to the server acting as the primary domain controller (PDC) emulator master.
Number of links per DFS namespace
5,000 for domain-based DFS
50,000 links for stand-alone DFS
When the number of links exceeds the recommended limit, you might experience performance degradation when making changes to the DFS configuration. For stand-alone DFS, namespace initialization after server startup might also be delayed.
Size of each DFS Active Directory object (applies to domain-based DFS namespaces only)
5 megabytes (MB)
The size of the DFS Active Directory object is determined by the number and path length of roots, links, comments, and targets in the namespace. We recommend using no more than 5,000 links in a domain-based namespace to prevent the DFS Active Directory object from exceeding 5 MB. Limiting the size of the Active Directory object is important because large domain-based DFS configurations can cause significantly increased network traffic originating from updates made to those roots, links, and targets.
Maximum amount of data that the File Replication service (FRS) can replicate in a domain-based DFS namespace
See recommended limits at http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;840675.
It is important that you review the FRS design guidelines before enabling replication. See the chapter "Designing and Deploying File Servers," in the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Deployment Kit. Doing so will help you optimally deploy and configure FRS for your environment.
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