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Description of the Distributed File System (DFS) Management snap-in in Windows Server 2003 R2

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This article describes the Distributed File System (DFS) Management snap-in in Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2.

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You use DFS Management to manage DFS namespaces and DFS replication in the Microsoft Management Console (MMC). When you use the DFS namespace and DFS replication together, these two technologies offer simplified, fault-tolerant access to files, load sharing, and wide area network (WAN)-friendly replication.

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More information

To make namespace concepts easier to understand, namespace terminology has been simplified in DFS Management. The following table describes the previous and updated terms.
Previous termUpdated termDefinition
LinkFolderAny folder that appears in the namespace after \\ServerOrDomainName\RootName. A folder can have optional folder targets.
Link targetFolder targetA Universal Naming Convention (UNC) path of a shared folder or another namespace that is associated with a folder in a namespace.
DFS RootNamespace rootThe top-level folder in the namespace. For example, \\ServerOrDomainName\RootName is the namespace root.
RootNamespaceA virtual tree of folders that starts with \\ServerOrDomainName\RootName.
Root serverNamespace serverA server that hosts a namespace

New DFS Namespaces features

Distributed File System is now known as DFS Namespaces. Although the underlying service and basic functionality are unchanged, some new namespace settings are exposed in Windows Server 2003 R2. These settings are as follows.

Target priority

When a client accesses a namespace, the client receives a referral that contains a list of targets that are associated with the namespace root or folder. These targets are listed according to the current ordering method for the namespace or the folder. To fine tune how particular targets are ordered, you can specify whether a server appears first or last in a referral. It is useful to assign target priority in many scenarios, such as in "hot-standby" scenarios. A "hot-standby" scenario occurs when one server is considered the server of last resort. In this scenario, you specify that the standby server always appears last in referrals. Clients fail over to this server only if all the other servers fail or become unavailable because of network outages.

Client failback

Client failover in DFS Namespaces is the process by which clients try to access another server in a referral after one of the servers fails or is removed from the namespace. Unless client failback is configured, clients continue to use the server to which they failed over unless the client is restarted or the client's referral cache is cleared. When client failback is configured and when clients have the appropriate client failback hotfix installed, clients fail back to a preferred, local server when it is restored.

Better delegation

You can easily delegate the ability to create domain-based namespaces and manage individual stand-alone and domain-based namespaces. The DFS Management snap-in sets the appropriate permissions on either the DFS Namespace configuration objects in the Active Directory directory service or in the namespace server's registry. Permissions depend on the namespace type.

Ability to restructure the namespace

You can easily rename or move folders in the namespace when you use the DFS Management snap-in. You can restructure the namespace to correct mistakes or to adjust the hierarchy as business needs change or as new folders are added to the namespace. You can also move namespace folders by using the updated version of the Dfscmd.exe command-line tool.

DFS Management Console features and usage

New DFS Namespaces terminology and features in Windows Server 2003 R2

  • Updated namespace terminology
  • New namespace features
For more information about new DFS Namespaces terminology and features in Windows Server 2003 R2, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

Namespaces overview

  • Introduction to namespaces
  • Types of namespaces
  • Namespace folders and folder targets
  • Namespace servers
  • Namespace limits
  • Namespace clients
  • Security requirements for creating and managing namespaces
  • Considerations for hosting namespaces on servers that are running a mix of Windows Server 2003 and Windows 2000 Server
For more information, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

Getting started with namespaces

  • Deploy a namespace for publishing content
  • Increase the availability of a namespaces
For more information, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

Creating and managing namespaces

  1. Deploying a namespace
    1. Create a namespace
    2. Create a folder in a namespace
    3. Delegate management permissions for an existing namespace
    4. Delegate the ability to create new domain-based namespaces
  2. Increasing the availability of a Namespace
    1. Add namespace servers to a domain-based namespace
    2. Add folder targets
    3. Replicate folder targets using DFS Replication
  3. Optimizing a Namespace
    1. Rename or move a folder
    2. Enable or disable referrals to a folder target
    3. Change the amount of time that clients cache referrals
    4. Set the ordering method for targets in referrals
    5. Set target priority to override referral ordering
    6. Enable client failback
    7. Optimize namespace polling
  4. Managing namespaces that are hosted on multiple server operating systems
    1. Update the static site table on namespace servers that are running Windows 2000 Server
For more information, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

Namespace properties

  • Referral properties
  • Polling properties
  • Target properties
For more information, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

DFS replication overview

  • Introduction to DFS replication
  • Replication groups and replicated folders
  • Security requirements for setting up and managing DFS replication
  • DFS replication requirements
  • DFS replication limits
  • What to expect during initial replication
For more information, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

Getting started with DFS replication

  • Publish data using DFS replication
  • Collect data for backup purposes using DFS replication
For more information, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

Configuring and managing DFS replication

  1. Deploying DFS Replication
    1. Create a replication group
    2. Add a replicated folder to a replication group
    3. Add a member to a replication group
    4. Create a connection
    5. Create a topology
    6. Delegate the ability to create replication groups
    7. Delegate the ability to manage an existing replication group
  2. Collect data for backup purposes by using DFS replication
    1. Edit the replication group schedule
    2. Create or edit a custom connection schedule
    3. Enable or disable replication for a specific connection
    4. Enable or disable replication of a replicated folder on a specific member
    5. Enable or disable remote differential compression (RDC) for a specific connection
    6. Enable or disable topology verification
    7. Repair a disconnected topology
    8. Edit the replication filters for a replicated folder
    9. Edit the quota size of the staging folder and Conflict and Deleted folder
    10. Share a replicated folder
    11. Publish a replicated folder in an existing namespace
    12. Create a diagnostic report for DFS Replication
For more information, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

DFS replication properties

  • Replication schedules and bandwidth
  • Replication topologies
  • Staging folders and Conflict and Deleted folders
  • File and subfolder filters
For more information, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

Interoperability of DFS management tools with Windows Server 2003 R2

Windows Server 2003 R2 includes a new DFS Management MMC snap-in (Dfsmgmt.msc) that provides a richer set of features than the older Distributed File System (Dfsgui.msc) snap-in. However, DFS Management requires at least one Windows Server 2003 R2-based server for management. Additionally, DFS Management does not support some namespace features until all domain controllers and namespace servers are running Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1) or a newer version. Therefore, we recommend that you use the DFS Namespaces snap-in to manage only namespaces that you upgrade to Windows Server 2003 SP1. To manage older �DFS Roots," use the Distributed File System snap-in that is installed on a Windows Server 2003 R2-based server. To install the DFS Management snap-in in Windows Server 2003 R2, install or upgrade the File Server role by using the Manage Your Server window. Windows Server 2003 R2 includes DFS Management snap-ins for managing both implementations of DFS.
DFS implementationOperating systemManagement snap-in
Distributed File SystemPre-Windows Server 2003 R2Distributed File System (Dfsgui.msc)
DFS NamespacesWindows Server 2003 R2DFS Management (Dfsmgmt.msc)
DFS replication does not interoperate with the File Replication service (FRS). For more information about DFS replication requirements, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

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Keywords: KB915146, kbinfo, kbhowto

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Article Info
Article ID : 915146
Revision : 5
Created on : 11/1/2006
Published on : 11/1/2006
Exists online : False
Views : 180