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What's New in DFS Namespaces and DFS Replication in Windows Server 2012

Published: July 3, 2013

Updated: July 3, 2013

Applies To: Windows Server 2012



This topic describes the features that were added to DFS Namespaces (DFS or DFS-N) and DFS Replication (DFSR or DFS-R) in Windows Server 2012.

For information about the features that were added in Windows Server 2012 R2, see What's New in DFS Namespaces and DFS Replication in Windows Server 2012.

DFS Namespaces and DFS Replication are role services in the File and Storage Services role. DFS Namespaces enables you to group shared folders that are located on different servers into one or more logically structured namespaces. DFS Replication enables you to efficiently replicate folders (including those referred to by a DFS namespace path) across multiple servers and sites.

The following table describes the changes in DFS Namespaces and DFS Replication functionality.

 

Feature/functionality Description

Windows PowerShell module for DFS Namespaces

Provides Windows PowerShell cmdlets for performing the majority of administration tasks for DFS Namespaces.

DFS Namespaces: Site awareness for DirectAccess clients

Provides remote client computers with optimal referrals to corporate resources when the computers connect by using DirectAccess to the corporate network.

DFS Namespaces: Windows Management Infrastructure provider

Provides the latest Windows Management Infrastructure-based management methods to manage DFS Namespaces.

DFS Replication: Support for Data Deduplication volumes

Provides support for replicated folders stored on volumes that use Data Deduplication.

Windows Server 2012 includes Windows PowerShell cmdlets for performing the majority of administration tasks for DFS Namespaces.

What value does this change add?

Administrators can use the extensive Windows PowerShell cmdlets to perform common administration tasks, and optionally automate them by using Windows PowerShell scripts.

What works differently?

Instead of using DFS Management or DFS command-line utilities, administrators can perform all common tasks by using the Windows PowerShell cmdlets.

The Windows PowerShell cmdlets are available on computers that run Windows Server 2012 or Windows 8 and that have the DFS Management Tools feature (part of the Remote Server Administration Tools) installed.

For more information, see DFS Namespace (DFSN) Cmdlets in Windows PowerShell and Introducing DFS Namespaces Windows PowerShell Cmdlets.

TipTip
To use the Windows PowerShell module for DFS Namespaces from a computer that does not have the module installed, use the Enter-PSSession cmdlet to establish a session with a computer that has the DFS Management Tools feature installed.

Windows Server 2012 includes site awareness for DirectAccess functionality to provide optimal site-aware referrals to remote users who access a corporate network by using DirectAccess.

What value does this change add?

Remote users who connect to DFS namespaces over a DirectAccess connection receive referrals to the namespace servers and folder targets that are closest to their location. This reduces network latency when accessing files on the corporate network, making more efficient use of bandwidth.

What works differently?

When accessing a DFS namespace path by using DirectAccess in Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2, remote computers that have IP addresses outside of the sites specified in Active Directory Domain Services receive a randomly ordered referral that could include servers in distant sites, even when servers in a nearby site are available.

When a remote computer accesses a DFS namespace path by using DirectAccess on computers running Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012, the computer provides a site name in the referral request to the namespace server running Windows Server 2012. The namespace server uses the site name to provide a referral to the closest site available.

For site awareness to work for clients that are using DirectAccess, the client computer must be running Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012 and the server must be running Windows Server 2012.

Windows Server 2012 includes new Windows Management Infrastructure (the new version of WMI, sometimes known as MI or WMIv2) provider functionality, which provides programmatic access to manage DFS Namespaces.

What value does this change add?

Management programs can use the latest Windows Management Infrastructure-based methods to manage DFS Namespaces.

What works differently?

Windows Management Infrastructure-based management access occurs over a firewall-friendly Windows Remote Management (WinRM) transport protocol.

Windows Server 2012 includes support for replicated folders stored on volumes on which Data Deduplication is enabled.

What value does this change add?

You can use the new Data Deduplication functionality to reduce storage requirements without impacting DFS Replication.

What works differently?

DFS Replication replicates the new reparse point tag IO_REPARSE_TAG_DEDUP.

The following features are included in Windows Server 2012, but they are being phased out, and they likely will be removed from future versions of the Windows Server operating system.

 

Deprecated feature Replacement

DFS Namespaces command-line tool, Dfscmd

DFS Namespaces module for Windows PowerShell

File Replication Service (FRS)

DFS Replication

For a complete list of deprecated features in Windows Server 2012, see Features Removed or Deprecated in Windows Server 2012.

For more information about FRS support in Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2008 R2, see File Replication Service (FRS) Is Deprecated in Windows Server 2008 R2.

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