win 2003 - file server & dfs - differences

Posted on 2012-04-06
Last Modified: 2012-04-06
hi i have configured the following in the passed:

- win 2003 file server (member server)
- lately ive configured a windows 2003/dfs - which i understand after some reading that no matter how many multiple pc's/server may have data that they wish to share with other personnel.  then dfs can put all these multiple folders into (one place) rather than multiple mapped drives for eg and with win 2003 r2 it has the 'replication' feature and to ensure if data on one server is (down) then the data can still be accessed from another server, providing obviously it was configured this way.

question 1.  what i am trying to understand is what the differences are between the both above, because from my understanding if a network is created with all shares located in one place then why use 'dfs' and just use the 'file server' ?
Question by:mikey250
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LVL 21

Accepted Solution

motnahp00 earned 250 total points
ID: 37816744
DFS uses a single namespace. Rather trying to map the following scenario:

\\SERVER1\HR --> Drive Letter X
\\SERVER2\SALES --> Drive Letter Y
\\SERVER3\IT --> Drive Letter Z

... you can have a more simplistic view:

\\DFSSERVER\SHARES --> Drive Letter X

Access-based enumeration provides a means of removing views/shares that are not applicable to users.
LVL 21

Expert Comment

ID: 37816778
It's been a while since I have touched a W2K3 box. I believe ABE came out with W2K8.

Author Comment

ID: 37816782
hi ok but what about a file server as if all company files are stored on one partition then surely this is the same what 'dfs' does although i know there is replication in win 2003 r2 ?

also currently ive done as a test:

ive now also configured the following separate shared folder and a dfs folder successfully on my same master dc

- d:\home - my vpn users can logon and access files successfully
- d:\dfs\documents - all vpn users can also access this folder & files

i obviously dont need both!!
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Author Comment

ID: 37816790
ive installed win 2008 32bit as a test as a domain and gpo software install and joined a client is all i have done.  just going over win 2003 before i then go through a migration to win 2008 as a test.  learning curve practically!!
LVL 21

Assisted Solution

motnahp00 earned 250 total points
ID: 37816805
DFS doesn't store all the data into one partition but rather references other shares from file servers.
LVL 17

Assisted Solution

Anuroopsundd earned 250 total points
ID: 37816807
You normally require DFS for multiple sites. DFS provide the same namespace through every where.
For Eg:
office location 1 -- filerserver1
office location 2 -- filerserver2

so if user from location 1 goes to location 2 he will require to know the server name.
also it is difficult for the administrators to manage the data and have to manually or put scripts for replicating data.

so if we have DFS.. bot servers will host same namespace.
so any user from any office put \\domainname\DFS_Namespace they will get response through there best location DFS server..

If you have just 1 location then you do not require this functionality.

Author Comment

ID: 37816810
hi motnatpoo - yes i read this and yes i understand that!

Author Comment

ID: 37816819
hi Anuroopsundd, ok i understand better now!! ive never used just learning it to see what was what!! thanks.


so presumably if i only have one domain and no multiple sites, then just configuring a singel file server without the need for 'dfs' is ok then ?
LVL 17

Assisted Solution

Anuroopsundd earned 250 total points
ID: 37816833
Yes. Then you actually do not require dfs. File server suffice the purpose....

Author Comment

ID: 37816837
perfect thanks for that!!  appreciated!!

Author Closing Comment

ID: 37816845
sound advice!!

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