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Evaluating Client and Server Compatibility

Updated: March 28, 2003

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Before you implement a DFS namespace, review the types of clients and servers in your organization to make certain that the servers can host targets and that the clients can access targets in the DFS namespace. For example, if you have UNIX clients, they cannot access the DFS namespace and must instead access the files by using the UNC path to the various file servers. Table 2.1 summarizes DFS interoperability.

Table 2.1   DFS Interoperability

 

Platform Act as DFS Clients? Host DFS Roots? Act as a Link Target?

Microsoft® Windows® Server 2003, Web Edition

Yes

Yes. Can host one stand-alone DFS root or one domain-based DFS root per server.

Yes

Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition

Yes

Yes. Can host one stand-alone DFS root or one domain-based DFS root per server.

Yes

Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition and Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition

Yes

Yes. Can host multiple stand-alone DFS roots and multiple domain-based DFS roots per server.

Yes

Windows XP

Yes

No

Yes

Windows Preinstallation Environment (WinPE)

Yes

No

No

Microsoft® Windows® 2000 Server family*

Yes

Yes, one stand-alone DFS root or domain-based DFS root per server.

Yes

Microsoft® Windows® 2000 Professional

Yes

No

Yes

Microsoft® Windows NT® Server 4.0 with Service Pack 6a

Yes

Yes, a single stand-alone DFS root per server.

Yes

Windows NT Workstation 4.0 with Service Pack 6a

Yes

No

Yes

Microsoft® Windows® Millennium Edition (Me)

Yes, client for stand-alone DFS included. Because Windows Me is designed specifically for home use, no domain-based DFS client is provided.

No

Yes

Microsoft® Windows® 98

Yes, client for stand-alone DFS included; install the Active Directory client extension for Microsoft® Windows® 95 or Microsoft Windows 98 to access domain-based DFS namespaces.

No

Yes

* Applies to general-purpose servers and Windows Powered Network Attached Storage solutions running Windows Server 2003.

Note

  • The Active Directory client extension for Windows 95 or Windows 98 is available on the Windows 2000 operating system CD, or see the Active Directory Client Extensions link on the Web Resources page at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/reskits/webresources.

When evaluating client compatibility, review the following important considerations:

  • Clients must be members of a domain before they can access a domain-based DFS namespace.

  • Link targets can use other protocols, such as NetWare Core Protocol (NCP) for NetWare and Network Filesystem (NFS) for UNIX, but clients must have the appropriate redirector installed to access those link targets.

  • In organizations that have a large number of domains, clients might have difficulty accessing link targets in other domains or forests. In addition, clients running Windows 98 might not be able to access any domain-based DFS namespace and might also have difficulty accessing links that point to other DFS namespaces. For more information about clients running Windows 98, see "Designing a DFS Namespace" later in this chapter.

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