Using the Windows 2000 Distributed File System - Page 2

 By Drew Bird | Posted Oct 15, 2000
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Advantages of DFS

DFS brings with it advantages for both users and administrators. All the directories and files users need to access exist in one easy-to-navigate structure. This has two effects. First, users can easily locate data, reducing the need for administrative assistance. Second, users can more easily save data in the right place, thereby increasing the effectiveness of backups and reducing related support calls. From an administrative perspective, DFS provides the ability to manage data from within one simplified structure. Other benefits include the ability to move a data structure from its original location to another drive, or even another server, without affecting the DFS structure or the users' perception of the location of the data.

Creating a DFS Tree

The initial creation of a DFS tree takes just a couple of minutes, thanks to a wizard that guides you through the necessary steps. The wizard is accessed from within the Distributed File System management utility, which can be found in the Administrative Tools menu. After starting the Management Utility, choose Action|New to launch the DFS Root Creation Wizard. After you click Next on the introduction screen, the wizard prompts you to select whether to create a stand-alone DFS root or a domain DFS root. For this example, I will create a domain DFS root.

The next two screens allow you to select first the domain, and then the server that will host the DFS root. Each server can only host one DFS root. The following screen requires that you specify the share point at which you wish to create the DFS root. You can either select an existing share by using the drop-down box, or create a new share point for the DFS root. The next screen allows you to specify a name for the DFS root, and to include a comment. Clicking Next then takes you to a summary screen, in which you can check the information that has been entered. Figure 1 shows a completed summary screen. Once the information has been checked, click Finish to create the new DFS system.

Figure 1: The completed DFS root summary screen.
Figure 1: The completed DFS root summary screen.

Adding Links

Adding new links to the DFS tree is simple. With the DFS root object selected in the management utility, right-click and choose New DFS Link. Then, simply add the path to the data you want included in the DFS tree. Repeat this procedure for each data area that you wish to add to the tree. In Figure 2, you can see the view of a DFS tree with a number of links added. The left pane shows the DFS Management Utility; the right pane shows what the tree looks like when viewed through Windows Explorer.

Figure 2: A DFS tree with added links.
Figure 2: A DFS tree with added links.


DFS provides a simple solution to one of network administration's most time-consuming challenges: managing data access. By creating a DFS tree, Windows 2000 administrators can manage data easily. //

Drew Bird (MCT, MCNI) is a freelance instructor and technical writer. He has been working in the IT industry for 12 years and currently lives in Kelowna, Canada. You can e-mail Drew at drewbird@netcom.ca.

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