Distributed File System Terminology

To properly understand DFS, a number of technical terms are used when deploying, configuring, and referencing DFS. Although the DFS namespace and DFS Replication have already been described, the remaining terms should also be understood before reading the remainder of this chapter or deploying a new DFS infrastructure:

. DFS namespace—A unified namespace that presents a centralized view of shared folder data in an organization.

. DFS namespace server—A Windows server that hosts a DFS namespace.

. DFS namespace root—The top level of the DFS tree that defines the namespace for DFS and the functionality available. The namespace root is also the name of the DFS namespace. A domain-based root adds fault-tolerant capabilities to DFS by allowing several servers to host the same DFS namespace root.

. DFS folder—A folder that will be presented under the root when a DFS client connects. When a root is created, folders can be created within the file system, but DFS folders allow the system to redirect clients to different systems other than the namespace server hosting the root.

. Folder target—A shared folder hosted on a Windows server. The DFS folder name and the share name do not need to be the same but for troubleshooting purposes it is highly recommended. Multiple folder targets can be assigned to a single DFS folder to provide fault tolerance. If a single folder target is unavailable, clients will be connected to another available target. When DFS folders are created with multiple folder targets, replication can also be configured using DFS replication groups to keep the data across the targets in sync. Folder targets can be a share name or a folder beneath a share. For example, \\server1\userdata or \\server1\userdata\Finance are both valid folder targets.

. DFS tree—The hierarchy of the namespace. For example, the DFS tree begins with the DFS root namespace and contains all the defined folders below the root.

. Referrals—A configuration setting of a DFS namespace and/or folder that defines how DFS clients will connect to the namespace server, a folder in the namespace, or a particular folder target server. Referral properties include limiting client connections to servers in the local Active Directory site and how often to check the availability of a DFS server. Disabling a target’s referral keeps it from being used by clients. Target referral can be disabled when maintenance will be performed on a server.

Depending on which Server version, service pack, and edition of Window Server 2003 or 2008 is used will determine how many namespaces are supported on a single server. Please refer to online Microsoft documentation to determine which edition is right for your organization’s implementation of DFS.

Source of Information : Sams - Windows Server 2008 R2 Unleashed (2010)  


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