DFS question, where is it coming from?

I'm in a new 2008 environment and on my DC, I have DFS Management.  When I click it, I have a DFS namespace.  My four DCs are listed as namespace servers as well.  DFS is running as a service on my servers.  

BUT

The role DFS is not installed on any of the servers.  

Can someone explain to me how this can be?  I just don't get it.  No DFS role installed but it's certainly in use.

I just need to understand how that happens.

Thanks

Cliff
crp0499CEOAsked:
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Steve WhitcherSystems AdministratorCommented:
In a domain created at the 2008 functional level or above, active directory uses DFS to replicate the sysvol and netlogon shares, instead of FRS.  The DFS role doesn't have to be installed separately, but it will still be the underlying technology used.

Here's an article about migrating from FRS to DFS.  It doesn't directly apply to your situation, since you're already using DFS, but it might give you a bit of insight into how it works.
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd640019%28v=ws.10%29.aspx?f=255&MSPPError=-2147217396
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crp0499CEOAuthor Commented:
So because AD is using it to replicate sysvol, it's installed by default on the DCs?  Is that what you are saying?

I note that it does not show installed in the Roles section of server manager, even though it clearly is installed.
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Steve WhitcherSystems AdministratorCommented:
Correct.  It doesn't install the full role, but the components that AD uses for replicating sysvol are installed along with AD Directory Services.
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crp0499CEOAuthor Commented:
It's being used here for full DFS corporate shares.  Am I losing anything by not installing the full role?
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Peter HutchisonSenior Network Systems SpecialistCommented:
It is actually called DFS-R (DFS Replication) and is serviced by the DFS Replication service when the server is promoted to a domain controller. DFS-R replaces the old FRS (File Replication Service) that was used on Windows 2003 DCs.
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Steve WhitcherSystems AdministratorCommented:
I would expect that you would install the DFS role and management tools on the file servers that are hosting your file shares, but it doesn't need to be installed on the domain controllers.
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crp0499CEOAuthor Commented:
Well, here, we have 71 shares in one namespace and the role DFS is not installed anywhere.  I'm researching the downside to that.  In my head, I'm thinking if you are going to use DFS for DFS shares, or more if you are going to use it for MORE than the sysvol, then you install the full role.
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crp0499CEOAuthor Commented:
That's what I'm saying here Steve, it's NOT installed on the file servers where the shares are hosted.  I think just shared the folders out and added them to the namespace.
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crp0499CEOAuthor Commented:
and just an FYI, these servers have BOTH DFS-R and DFS Namespace services running, even though the role is not installed.
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Steve WhitcherSystems AdministratorCommented:
My understanding is that the DFSN and DFSR services are installed as part of the DCPromo process on the domain controllers, and essentially only the DFS management tools are left out.  I guess it's technically workable the way you have it, but if it were me I would add the DFS role on the file server where the shares exist and add it as a namespace server.
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crp0499CEOAuthor Commented:
My thinking as well. Thanks
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Windows Server 2008

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