Distributed File Systems


 

A distributed file system (DFS) helps you maintain and share data on the network. Important functions such as data security, permissions, and accessibility are integrated into the DFS.

DFS Namespaces

During the course of a day, a user might need to access multiple files stored on many servers connected to your LAN or WAN. To find all the files spread about the network, the user hunts through a long list of shares.


Windows DFS Namespace (DFS-N) allows you to create a single virtual space that simplifies access for everyone. Although you configure DFS-N on the Seagate server, the shares can come from any server on the network.


Namespaces are visible to all users on the network. However, a user must have access rights to the shares to view and edit content.

DFS-N Hierarchy

Before adding a namespace, you must understand the DFS-N hierarchy.

  • Namespace server (in this case, the Seagate server)
  • Namespace root (\\Seagate server\root)
    You can create multiple folders within a root folder.
  • Folder seen by user (\\Seagate server\root\folder)
    Each folder in the root has its own target folder.
  • Share mounted as a target folder (\\Seagate server\root\folder\target folder) The target folder is a share that has already been created. You can also create new shares.

Enable DFS namespaces

  1. In Server Manager, select File and Storage Services.
  2. Select Servers.
  3. In the server list, select the server on which to enable DFS.
  4. Select Tasks > Add Roles and Features.
  5. Use the Add Roles and Features wizard to enable DFS.
  6. Under Installation Type, select Role-based or feature-based installation and click Next.
  7. Select the server and click Next.
  8. In the left menu, select Server Roles.
  9. Select DFS Namespaces and click Next.
  10. If a dialog box displays showing the list of tools and services that must be installed to use DFS, click Add Features.
  11. Complete the installation.
  12. Restart your server.

Add a namespace

The namespace can be associated with a domain if the server has joined an Active Directory, or it can be a standalone server.

  1. In Server Manager, select Tools > DFS Management.
  2. On the right, select New Namespace.
  3. In the New Namespace wizard, enter the name of your Seagate server—the host server for the namespace.
    It could be any server, because the namespace can include shares from multiple servers on the LAN or WAN.
  4. Complete the instructions in the wizard to create the namespace.

Create a namespace folder

You can create folders to contain the target folders, such as folders based on a department or business.

  1. In Sever Manager, select Tools > DFS Management.
  2. On the left, expand the Namespaces list.
  3. Right-click the namespace to use and select New Folder.
  4. Type the name.
  5. Right-click the folder and select Add folder target.
  6. Browse for the share you want to add. You can also create a new share.

    Note: You can add a second share to a target folder to replicate data. Replication copies and updates files between the two shares. Your server must be a member of a domain for replication.

  7. Create additional folders as needed.

DFS Replication

DFS replication (DFS-R) can improve bandwidth bottlenecks and enable users to spend their time more efficiently. DFS-R replicates data from a remote server to a local server on the LAN, providing users faster access to files. DFS-R also uses remote differential compression, which only replicates changes to a file rather than the entire file.
 

Note: Replication over the network is not the same as backing up a server. Although replication is convenient for avoiding WAN-related delays, it is not a substitute for regular backups on an external hard drive or shared volume.

Enable DFS-R

  1. In Server Manager, select File and Storage Services.
  2. Select the server on which to enable DFS-R.
  3. Select Tasks > Add Roles and Features.
  4. Use the Add Roles and Features wizard to add DFS-R.
  5. When the installation is complete, restart the system.

Add a replication group

  • In Server Manager, select Tools > DFS Management.
  • Right-click Replication and select New Replication Group.
  • Use the wizard to complete adding the group.