Windows 2000 Distributed File System (DFS)
Distributed File System: This is a guide to implementing an Active Directory-based DFS. DFS is basically a logical view of shared network resources. It is a more aesthetically pleasing method for users or employees to view networked folders and shared resources. A DFS tree is created (providing one logical view), and then roots (shares) are added to the tree, without regard to specific location. This is all transparent to the user. The location of said folders is meaningless to the user. But the ease of locating folders or files is very meaningful, to say the least.
Instead of creating logon scripts and mapping endless drives to needed resources, a DFS structure can be created to provide a more palatable overview. This helps to alleviate the pain that users can experience when searching and sifting through endless amounts of oddly named public folders within a mapped share, for example. A Windows Administrator can create one log on script that can be placed in a group policy for an entire domain: it can point to the one logical DFS tree.
Once again, some of the best material comes right from the Windows 2000 Server Help section, in this instance DFS Overview:
Distributed file system overview
The Distributed file system (Dfs) allows system administrators to make it easier for users to access and manage files that are physically distributed across a network. With Dfs, you can make files distributed across multiple servers appear to users as if they reside in one place on the network. Users no longer need to know and specify the actual physical location of files in order to access them.
For example, if you have marketing material scattered across multiple servers in a domain, you can use Dfs to make it appear as though all of the material resides on a single server. This eliminates the need for users to go to multiple locations on the network to find the information they need.
Reasons for using Dfs
You should consider implementing Dfs if:
• Users who access shared folders are distributed across a site or sites.
• Most users require access to multiple shared folders.
• Server load balancing could be improved by redistributing shared folders.
• Users require uninterrupted access to shared folders.
• Your organization has Web sites for either internal or external use.
Using the Dfs console, you can implement a distributed file system in either of two ways–either as a stand-alone distributed file system, or as a domain-based distributed file system.
In addition to the server-based Dfs component of Windows 2000, there is a client-based Dfs component. The Dfs client caches a referral to a Dfs root or a Dfs link for a specific length of time, defined by the administrator.
A computer running the Dfs client must be a member of the domain for the Dfs root.
The Dfs client component runs on a number of different Windows platforms. For information on Dfs client versions and their associated platforms, see Platform compatibility.
For more information, see Understanding the Distributed File System (Dfs) and Using the Distributed File System (Dfs).
1. Locate the DFS tool- go into Administrative Tools/DFS
[Or, it may be better to add the DFS standalone snap-in to your favorite MMC – Microsoft Management Console, which can be saved right to the desktop]:
2. Opposite-Click ‘Distributed file System’ now visible and then appears the ‘New DFS Root Wizard’/ Next
3. Choose the Active Directory type of DFS root, or “Create a domain DFS root’. The SOHO networked domain in this instance is a fully integrated Active Directory domain, so this is the logical choice / Next:
4. The Domain name automatically fills in with my internal domain name, ‘riguy.local’. Try typing another name of a domain which does not exist. After a timeout period, you should see this error message. If there is a problem with the domain, this would be the time to fix it:
5. After selecting the correct trusted domain name (my one and only local domain in this case), you need to select the Domain name or host / Next:
6. Then, you need to specify the Host Server for the DFS Root, which of course is a Windows 200 AD-based system / Next: