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DFS Server 2008

Posted on 2011-09-22
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I am going to setup a DFS environment and I was wondering if anyone had a thought on whether or not to use an existing server 2008 file server or is it best to create a new server that just has DFS on it?
I am going to setup a domain DFS environment and probably a mesh topology. I have existing file servers that just do file and print.  Is it best practice to put DFS on it's own machine or can it co-exist on a file server?
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Question by:jnellie79
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nsx106052 earned 500 total points
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I would put DFS on multiple servers.  So you have some fault tolerance if one goes down.  If you have multiple files servers just use them.  You will be fine having this on a file server provided you have the hardware resources.  
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by:kevinhsieh
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There are two related technologies called DFS; DFS replication (DFS-R) and DFS Namespace (DFS-N).

If you want multiple servers to have the same files on them, that is achieved via DFS-R, and that needs to be running on the servers storing the files (your file servers).

DFS-N provides a unified namespace such as \\domain.local\dfs\folder1, \\domain.local\dfs\folder2, etc. The files on those shares can be on a single server, folder1 can be on one server while folder2 can be on another, or folder1 and folder2 can be DFS-R replicated to multiple servers and clients can access files on the closest server, or there can be other servers available for DR purposes. DFS-N is best deployed on domain controllers. If your file server is also a DC, you can have both services running.

DFS-R and DFS-N don't have any native global file locking capabilities, so you need to make sure that two workstations don't try to edit the same file on multiple servers at the same time.

I always use DFS-N, even for single server environments. The season is that you can upgrade to a different file server later without changing UNC paths because the UNC path uses the domain name, not the server name where the file are stored.
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