DFSR on server 2008 - is active directory required?

Discussion in 'File Systems' started by James, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. James

    James Guest


    Looking to implement DFS and its replication features on a group of Server
    2008 machines.... is Active Directory required to be able to utilize the
    replication feature(s)?
    James, Feb 24, 2009
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  2. James,
    No, AD is not require and remember to install the DFS replication service.
    You can have a stand-alone dfs namespace. but the drawback to this is that
    you will have no fault tolerance except you use Server clusters, as opposed
    to using the domain based dfs namespace.
    Isaac Oben [MCITP,MCSE], Feb 25, 2009
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  3. James

    James Guest

    Hi Isaac, thanks for the reply, I appreciate it.

    could you elaborate a little on how AD provides fault tolerance for DFS?
    This will be my first DFS implementation and I'm not clear yet on all the
    details.... I'm thinking if I'm replicating/mirroring a share between two
    servers, both those servers will need to have DFS(R) services installed,
    wouldn't they both also hold the config info for the namespace? I obviously
    don't know what I'm doing yet for this so any further detail would be much

    thanks agian

    James, Feb 25, 2009
  4. James,
    Domain based namespace provide fault tolerance because you can have multiple
    domain controllers in your environment have the same dfs namespace, thus, if
    one domain controller is offline, it willl have no effect on the dfs because
    the others will still be there with the shares for clients to access. For
    example, let's say you have a namespace called mydomain.com\shared. You can
    setup fault tolerance on the other DCs using the same share folder "shared"
    thus you will multiple servers with the shared folder having same data, thus
    if one os offline, it makes no difference.
    Likewise if you have a stand-alone dfs namespace, you will need to have a
    namespace with a cluster resource.

    You can read more here:

    Isaac Oben [MCTIP, MCSE]
    Isaac Oben [MCITP,MCSE], Feb 25, 2009
  5. James

    James Guest

    Hi Isaac,

    I just came across this in the DFS help system in server 2008:
    "Ensure that all servers in a replication group are located in the same
    forest. You cannot enable replication across servers in different forests."

    It was in a requirements checklist for setting up replication... is this
    information outdated perhaps? or is AD really required then?

    I'm wondering if this info was from the 2k3 version of DFS and never updated
    in server 2008

    James, Feb 25, 2009
  6. James,

    Let me clarify my previous statement, Stand-alone dfs does not support
    automatic file replication. Without AD you will need to use a third party
    tool for replication. The statement below is correct, I understand it is
    meant if you decide to use Domain based Namespace for DFS. To enjoy the full
    benefit of DFS, it is suggested you use the domain based dfs namespace which
    require AD.

    Isaac Oben [MCTIP, MCSE]
    Isaac Oben [MCITP,MCSE], Feb 25, 2009
  7. James

    James Guest

    thanks for the help, I appreciate it.

    James, Feb 25, 2009
  8. James

    DaveMills Guest

    I think you will benefit greatly from reading "How DFS Works"
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc782417.aspx it is quite an easy
    read for the most part. It explains not only the setup and pre-requisites but
    how DFS actually does its job. You will find for example that DFS name space and
    DFS Replication are independent services that work together. You do not need DFS
    Replication for DFS Name space and you can also use DFS Replication without
    having a DFS Name space. They are just normally used together.

    Do not put any data in the DFS root folders, use Links. If you read "How DFS
    Works" you will understand why this is a better design.

    DaveMills, Mar 1, 2009
  9. James

    James Guest

    will do, thanks for the reply and the link, I appreciate it.

    James, Mar 2, 2009
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