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Deciding Whether to Implement DFS

Updated: March 28, 2003

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

Organizations of any size, with any number of file servers, can benefit from implementing DFS. DFS is especially beneficial for organizations in which any of the following conditions exist:

  • The organization plans to deploy additional file servers or consolidate existing file servers.

  • The organization has data that is stored in multiple file servers.

  • The organization wants to replace physical servers or shared folders without affecting how users access the data.

  • The organization has data located on servers in multiple sites and wants clients to connect to the closest servers.

  • Most users require access to multiple file servers.

  • Users experience delays when accessing file servers during peak usage periods.

  • Users require uninterrupted access to file servers.

Even if you are busy planning your organization’s migration to Windows Server 2003, you can make plans to implement DFS without immediately designing your entire namespace. You do not need to deploy DFS all at one time; you can choose to add as much or as little of your organization’s physical storage as you need to the DFS namespace, at a pace that works with your overall migration schedule.

When deciding whether to implement DFS, do the following:

  1. Review DFS terminology.

  2. Review the benefits of using DFS.

  3. Evaluate clients and servers for compatibility.

The following sections describe each of these steps.

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