Multiple DFS Roots and Domain Controllers

Discussion in 'File Systems' started by Shaun Rumbelow, Aug 25, 2005.

  1. Hi,

    We would like to use the Enterprise version of Windows 2003 to obtain
    multiple roots in DFS. Do we need to use 2 enterprise servers to store the
    root targets (for duplication) or can one server be a standard 2003 server?
    The enerprise servers would also be running AD. Can we have 4 DCs (2 x 2003
    Standard and 2 x 2003 Enterprise)? We don't want to buy more copies of the
    enterprise server than we need due to the cost.
    Shaun Rumbelow, Aug 25, 2005
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  2. The limitation you describe has to do with the number of *unique* namespaces
    the Enterprise/Datacenter servers host. But to achieve redundancy in a
    domain-based namespace, you don't need Enterprise/Datacenter at all. You
    could use four Standard servers, each hosting a single root target for a
    given namespace. In other words, that namespace would have four root targets
    for redundancy, but each server hosts only a single namespace. On the
    Standard servers, you couldn't host any more root targets, but on
    Enterprise/Datacenter servers, you could. Does that make sense? This is a
    common area of confusion.
    Jill Zoeller [MSFT], Aug 25, 2005
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  3. Thanks for the reply Jill, it helped to clarify a few things but I’m still
    not 100% sure about the following:

    We would like about 30 or more roots creating for different departments or
    directorates. Because they are domain based we also need to store a
    duplicate. If we use standard servers then we would need 30 or more servers
    to host the roots and some more servers to host the duplicates for
    redundancy. This would cost more than buying an couple of enterprise version
    of 2003. Is my understanding of this correct?
    Would we just need to purchase 2 enterprise servers (for redundancy)?

    I believe that DFS stores information in AD. If we do use two or more
    enterprise servers to accommodate the 30+ roots they will also act as domain
    controllers. Is it possible to have a number of domain controllers running on
    standard 2003 server and a number of DCs running enterprise 2003 server? I
    would guess that this mixed environment is okay. Does the enterprise version
    add additional information to the AD schema like exchange server does?

    Thanks for your help

    Shaun Rumbelow, Aug 26, 2005
  4. If you used two Enterprise servers, you could create 30 namespaces (roots),
    each of which has two root targets--one on each Enterprise server. The
    namespaces could survive the failure of one of those servers, but not both.
    If you were using Standard server, each server could host only one
    namespace. So essentially, you'd need two servers per namespace for

    Also, with domain-based namespaces, it is important that you have at least
    two domain controllers (for redudancy) because domain controllers provide
    domain-based namespace referrals to clients. (FYI, this is all explained in
    the DFS Technical Reference at

    The roots can be hosted on DCs or member servers. Unfortunately I'm not sure
    what the AD differences are between Enterprise/Standard servers--you can try
    posting this question in an AD newsgroup and I'm sure someone there can help

    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
    Jill Zoeller [MSFT], Aug 26, 2005
  5. The roots can be hosted on DCs or member servers. Unfortunately I'm not

    I'm not aware of any differences between Standard and Enterprise for AD.
    Obviously, you can get better performance out of Enterprise because it
    supports more RAM which allows you to load the entire DIT into memory, even
    if it's huge. Most people wouldn't want to shell out on Enterprise for a DC
    though, because a DC runs very well on basic hardware with standard edition.

    If you only have a limited amount of enterprise licenses, what you can do is
    ensure that the PDCe is help by an enterprise server and then configure all
    your DFS roots on these servers. After doing this, reduce the weight and
    priority of the SRV RRs for these machines so that the standard boxes do all
    the normal DC processing and your enterprise boxes managed DFS without
    worrying about logons and LDAP referrals, etc.
    Paul Williams [MVP], Aug 26, 2005
  6. W2K3 Enterprise server can support 30+ roots.
    You can have a mix of W2K3 standard and enterprise DCs in a domain and/or
    Enterprise edition does not modify the schema.

    Glenn L

, Aug 28, 2005
  7. Thanks. I now understand all the issues involved and you have answered all my
    questions. Thank you.
    Shaun Rumbelow, Aug 30, 2005
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