Managing the File Services Role

A file server provides a central location for storing and sharing files across the network. When many users require access to the same files and application data, you should configure file servers in the domain. In earlier releases of the Windows Server operating system, all servers were installed with basic file services. With Windows Server 2008, you must specifically configure a server to be a file server by adding the File -Services role and configuring this role to use the appropriate role services.

Table 12-1 provides an overview of the role services associated with the File Services role. When you install the File Services role, you may also want to install these optional features:

  • Windows Server Backup The new backup utility included with Windows Server 2008.
  • Storage Manager for SANs Allows you to provision storage for storage area networks (SANs).
  • Multipath IO Provides support for using multiple data paths between a file server and a storage device. Servers use multiple IO paths for redundancy in case of failure of a path and to improve transfer performance.

Table 12-1 Role Services for File Servers


You can add the File Services role to a server by following these steps:

  1. In Server Manager, select the Roles node in the left pane and then click Add Roles. This starts the Add Roles Wizard. If the wizard displays the Before You Begin page, read the Welcome text and then click Next.

    Note During the setup process, shared files are created on the server. If you encounter a problem that causes the setup process to fail, you will need to resume the setup process using the Add Role Services Wizard. After you restart Server Manager, select the File Services node under Roles. In the main pane scroll down and then click Add Role Services. You can continue with the installation, starting with step 3. If you were in the process of configuring domain-based DFS, you'll need to provide administrator credentials.

  2. On the Select Server Roles page, select File Services and then click Next twice.
  3. On the Select Role Services page, select one or more role services to install. A summary of each role service is provided in Table 12-1. To allow for interoperability with UNIX, be sure to add Services For Network File System. Click Next.
  4. A DFS namespace is a virtual view of shared folders located on different servers. If you are installing DFS Namespaces, you'll have three additional configuration pages:
    • On the Create A DFS Namespace page, set the root name for the first namespace or elect to create a namespace later as shown in the following screen. The namespace root name should be something that is easy for users to remember, such as CorpData. In a large enterprise, you may need to create separate namespaces for each major division.


    • On the Select Namespace Type page, specify whether you want to create a domain-based namespace or a stand-alone namespace as shown in the following screen. Domain-based namespaces can be replicated with multiple namespace servers to provide high availability but can only have up to 5,000 DFS folders. Stand-alone namespaces can have up to 50,000 DFS folders but are replicated only when you use failover server clusters and configure replication.


    • On the Configure Namespace page, you can add shared folders to the namespace as well as namespaces that are associated with a DFS folder as shown in the following screen. Click Add. In the Add Folder To Namespace dialog box, click Browse. In the Browse For Shared Folders dialog box, select the shared folder to add and then click OK. Next, type a name for the folder to add and then click OK. Next, type a name for the folder in the namespace. This name can be the same as the original folder name or a new name that will be associated with the original folder in the namespace. After you type a name, click OK to add the folder and complete the process.


      Note You do not have to configure DFS Namespaces at this time. Once you've installed DFS Namespaces, DFS Replication, or both, you can use the DFS Management console to manage the related features. This console is installed and available on the Administrative Tools menu. See Chapter 15, "Data Sharing, Security, and Auditing," for more information.

  5. With File Server Resource Manager, you can monitor the amount of space used on disk volumes and create storage reports. If you are installing File Server Resource Manager, you'll have two additional configuration pages:
    • On the Configure Storage Usage Monitoring page, you can select disk volumes for monitoring as shown in the following screen. When you select a volume and then click Options, you can set the volume usage threshold and choose the reports to generate when the volume reaches the threshold value. By default, the usage threshold is 85 percent.


    • On the Set Report Options page, you can select a save location for usage reports as shown in the following screen. One usage report of each previously selected type is generated each time a volume reaches its threshold. Old reports are not automatically deleted. The default save location is %SystemDrive%\StorageReports. To change the default location, click Browse and then select the new save location in the Browse For Folder -dialog box. You can also elect to receive reports by e-mail. To do this, you must specify the recipient e-mail addresses and the SMTP server to use.


      Note You do not have to configure monitoring and reporting at this time. After you've installed FSRM, you can use the File Server Resource Manager console to manage the related features. This console is installed and available on the Administrative Tools menu. See Chapter 14 for more information.

  6. If you are installing Windows Search Service, you'll see an additional configuration page that allows you to select the volumes to index. Indexing a volume makes it possible for users to search a volume quickly. However, indexing entire volumes can affect service performance, especially if you index the system volume. Therefore, you may only want to index specific shared folders on volumes, which you'll be able to do later on a per-folder basis.

    Note You do not have to configure indexing at this time. After you've installed Windows Search Service, you can use the Indexing Options utility in Control Panel to manage the related features.

  7. When you've completed all the optional pages, click Next. You'll see the Confirm Installation Options page. Click Install to begin the installation process. When Setup finishes installing the server with the features you've selected, you'll see the Installation Results page. Review the installation details to ensure that all phases of the installation completed successfully.

If the File Services role is installed already on a server and you want to install additional services for a file server, you can add role services to the server using a similar process. In Server Manager, expand the Roles node and then select the File Services node. In the main pane, the window is divided into several panels. Scroll down until you see the Role Services panel and then click Add Role Services. You can then follow the previous procedure starting with step 3 to add Role Services.

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