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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

DFS Testing In A Lab–Part 2

Here in part two, I am going to add two file servers and a client computer to the lab network. I discovered that I also want to test another feature on my lab.

Our current file server is running Win08. I have a disk on my SAN that is being passed-through to the file server VM and used to store my file shares. I want to test turning up a Win12 file server and moving the disk over. It will be great if this is a fairly simple operation.

Another thing I will want to test is upgrading a Win08 domain to a Win12 domain. This would be a true test of upgrades in our environment. More blog posts to come!

In any case, here are the steps I am taking to add file servers, clients, and DFS in to the environment:

  • Add a Win08 file server to domain.
  • Add a Win12 file server to domain.
  • Add a Win8 client computer to domain.

Simple enough.

The Win08 file server had the File Services Role on it. I am basically following the steps outlined on the website (listed below under Resources) to implement DFS.

  • Add the DFS Role Service
  • Using DFS Management tool, create the namespace
    • First decision, which server to make the namespace host. First thought was the file server itself. But, decided to go with my DCs after reading a bit online.
    • Left all namespace host related options at default.
  • Opted for domain-based namespace.
  • Once the namespace was created, I added my other DC as another namespace server.
  • Add two folders to the namespace, my ‘groups’ folder and my ‘users’ folder.
    • Add a folder called ‘groups’
    • Selected the ‘groups’ shared folder on FS01
    • Did the same for my ‘users’ shared folder
  • Enable access-based enumeration on the namespace
    • Right-click on namespace and select ‘Properties’
    • Advanced Tab | checkbox to ‘Enable access-based enumeration for this namespace’
  • From a second file server, I added second folder target to the ‘groups’ DFS folder.
    • I was hoping that DFS would aggregate the available folders from the multiple targets into a single namespace, for example:
      • FS01
        • groups\folder1
        • groups\folder2
      • FS02
        • groups\folder3
        • groups\folder4
      • <domain>\groups\
        • folder1
        • folder2
        • folder3
        • folder4
    • But, it does not seem to work this way.
    • I was able to create a replication group with these two folders in it. Now, both servers have identical data on it.

Some thoughts-

  • There are no DFS-related Powershell cmdlets for Win08, only Win8/Win12. In my production environment, we are Win08 (at the domain and file server). This could be a compelling reason to upgrade.
  • Moving to DFS won’t be as straightforward as I was initially anticipating. I will have to do some design work to implement DFS, rather than just install it and point it to my current shares.
    • I will likely want just a subset of my shared folder replicated between my sites. This will require that I break things out a bit and design an appropriate DFS namespace/folders.

There is still a lot to learn about DFS. But, this was a good introduction. As always, please add your comments/experiences below.


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