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Choosing the DFS Namespace Type

Updated: March 28, 2003

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

When creating a DFS namespace, you create either a stand-alone DFS root or a domain-based DFS root. Table 2.2 describes the differences between domain-based DFS namespaces and stand-alone DFS namespaces.

Table 2.2   How DFS Namespace Types Differ

 

Characteristic Domain-based Stand-Alone

Path to DFS namespace

\\domainname\rootname

\\Netbiosdomainname\rootname

\\DNSdomainname\rootname

\\servername\rootname

Group memberships required to create and administer namespaces

For DFS administrators who are not members of the Domain Admins group, it is recommended that you delegate permissions so that administrators can create new domain-based DFS namespaces. Administrators must also be members of the local Administrators group on each of the root targets to be able to add and delete links and add and remove the root targets.

DFS administrators must be members of the local Administrators group on the local server to create new stand-alone DFS roots and add or delete links.

Where DFS root information is stored

In Active Directory. DFS root information is replicated to all servers that host domain-based DFS roots.

In the registry of the root server.

DFS namespace size restrictions

Large domain-based DFS namespaces might cause significantly increased network traffic due to the size of the DFS Active Directory object. As a result, Microsoft recommends using fewer than 5,000 links in domain-based DFS namespaces.

The largest recommended namespace size for a stand-alone root is 50,000 links.

Supported methods to ensure DFS root availability

Create multiple DFS root targets in the same domain.

Create a stand-alone DFS root on a clustered file server.

Supported methods to ensure link target availability

Create multiple link targets and replicate files by using one of the following methods:

  • Enabling FRS

  • Copying files manually or by using scripts

  • Using a third-party replication tool

Create multiple link targets and replicate files by using one of the following methods:

  • Copying files manually or by using scripts

  • Using a third-party replication tool

Note

Use the following guidelines to choose a DFS namespace type.

Choose stand-alone DFS namespaces if:

  • Your organization does not use Active Directory.

  • You need to create a DFS namespace and are not part of the Domain Admins group, or company policy prevents you from delegating authority to manage a domain-based DFS namespace.

  • You need to create a single namespace with more than 5,000 links. (If you can divide your links among two or more namespaces, domain-based DFS is an option.)

  • You want to ensure the availability of the namespace by using a clustered file server.

Choose domain-based DFS namespaces if:

  • You plan to use FRS to replicate data and you want to use the Distributed File System snap-in to configure and administer replication.

  • You want to ensure the availability of the namespace by using multiple root targets.

As described in Table 2.2, you can increase the availability of roots and links in both types of DFS namespaces. For more information and specific guidelines about increasing the availability of roots and links, see "Increasing the Availability of DFS Namespaces" later in this chapter.

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