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Using domain-based namespace in Windows 2008 Failover Cluster

rsp_it used Ask the Experts™

I am working on migrating  my current DFS server to a Windows server 2008 cluster, when I tried to configure the domain-based namespace I got the below message:

"A domain-based namespace cannot be created on a cluster"

It seems that we can only use stand-alone namespace on a windows cluster, but we really need to keep the old domain-based namespace, if not we will have to change a bunch of things.

Now we plan to install another member server to host the domain-based namespace, link folders to the clustered DFS server, but this will waste another server and lost the failover function on the member server.

I am wondering whether I could use the domain-based namespace in a cluster by changing something in windows registry, or I could have some other better plans to keep both the cluster and domain-based namespace work.

Otherwise, due to some network issues, I can't enable DFS replication in my production.

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We install the DFS servers in different buildings and enable replication will consume most of the bandwidth, that's why we disable the DFS replication. I am not looking for a way to use it, sorry  for confusion.

The old domain-based namespace is very hard to change, so we have to think other plans to keep it. Here is another plan we have, let's see whether I can make it clear:

Build a two node file server cluster, publish shared folders from the cluster. At the same time, on each cluster node, configure DFS with domain-root (the DFS service is not running on the cluster, just running on the node), add shared folders (published from the cluster) into the domain-root DFS. Now, we will have two namespace servers that publish shared folders from the cluster. If we shutdown one node, another node will take over all tasks as DFS domain-root and file sharing.

We are not sure whether this could work, but any suggestions would be very thankful.
Technical Architect - HA/Compute/Storage
If you are on Enterprise or Data Center (which I suspect that you are) then why not go a slightly different route:

Stand up a Hyper-V Failover Cluster, enable Cluster Shared Volumes, and configure a highly available VM with your needed DFS setup?

You get your high availability across the two nodes and storage remains essentially the same with a small twist of using a (preferably) fixed VHD file set presented to the DFS HA VM for your base OS partition and then a second for the data.

If you have SA happening, and depending on change control in the organization, you could run with 2008 R2 or 2012 version of Hyper-V for their added features and robust performance.

I realize that this is not a direct answer to the specific problem, however I do believe that since a cluster configuration is already there, it's not too difficult to switch gears.

And, Hyper-V is _included_ with your licensing. No need to go and buy the other guy's Highly Available product with Live Migration like features. ;)

kevinhsiehNetwork Engineer

You can just setup DFS namespace on your domain controllers, which is where i feel they should live IMHO. You can have a failover cluster serve up the actual files.