Windows Server 2008 - The Distributed File System

To improve the reliability and availability of file shares in an enterprise network, Microsoft has developed the Distributed File System (DFS). DFS improves file share availability by providing a single, unified namespace to access shared folders hosted across one or more servers. A user needs to only remember a single server or domain name and share name to connect to a DFS shared folder. DFS has many benefits and features that can simplify data access and management from both the administrator and end-user perspective. DFS provides three main functions, as follows:

. Data redundancy—DFS can provide access to a single share that is hosted on multiple servers. This allows clients to get referred to or fail over to a different server if the primary server cannot be contacted.

. Automated data replication—DFS can be configured to utilize the Distributed File System Replication (DFSR) service, and can be configured to automatically synchronize folders between DFS servers to provide data redundancy or centralized storage of branch office data.

. Distributed data consolidation—DFS can be used to provide a single namespace that can contain several distinct or unique data sets, which can be hosted on separate servers. This enables administrators to provide access to existing file shares hosted on many different file servers, from the single namespace, without adding replication or redundant data sets.

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

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