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New namespace features

Updated: August 22, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003 R2

The Distributed File System (DFS) technology in the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 operating systems has been renamed to DFS Namespaces. Although the underlying service and basic functionality are unchanged, there are a number of new namespace settings exposed in the Windows Server 2003 R2 operating systems. These settings are as follows:

Target priority

When a client accesses a namespace, the client receives a referral that contains a list of targets associated with the namespace root or folder. These targets are listed according to the current ordering method for the namespace or folder. To fine-tune how particular targets are ordered, you can specify whether a server appears first or last in a referral. Assigning target priority is useful in many scenarios, such as “hot-standby” scenarios where one server is considered the server of last resort. In this scenario, you specify that the standby server always appears last in referrals, and clients will fail over to this server only if all the other servers fail or become unavailable due to network outages. For more information about target priority, see Target priority.

Client failback

Client failover in DFS Namespaces is the process in which clients attempt to access another server in a referral after one of the servers fails or is removed from the namespace. Unless client failback is configured, clients will continue using the server they failed over to unless the client is restarted or the client's referral cache is cleared. When client failback is configured, and clients have the appropriate client failback hotfix installed, clients will fail back to a preferred, local server when it is restored. For more information about client failback, see Referral properties.

Better delegation

You can easily delegate the ability to create domain-based namespaces and manage individual stand-alone and domain-based namespaces. The DFS Management snap-in sets the appropriate permissions on either the DFS Namespace configuration objects in Active Directory or in the namespace server’s registry (depending on the namespace type). For more information about delegation, see Security requirements for creating and managing namespaces.

Ability to restructure the namespace

Renaming or moving folders in the namespace is easy when you use the DFS Management snap-in. You can restructure the namespace to correct mistakes or to adjust the hierarchy as business needs change or as new folders are added to the namespace. You can also move namespace folders by using the updated version of the command-line tool, Dfscmd.exe.

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