A Distributed File System (DFS) is a file structure that facilitates sharing of data files and resources by means of consistent storage across a network. The earliest file servers were designed in the 1970s. Following its inception in 1985, Sun’s Network File System (NFS) eventually became the foremost commonly used distributed file system. Aside from NFS, significantly distributed file systems are Common Internet File System (CIFS) and Andrew file system (AFS).
The DFS or Microsoft Distributed File System is an arranged client and server solution that enable a large organization to manage numerous allocated shared file within a distributed file system. It delivers site transparency and redundancy to enhance data accessibility in the midst of a breakdown or extreme load by permitting shares in a number of various locations to be logically arranged under a DFS root or a single folder.
It is a client/server-based service that permits individuals to directly access and process files located on the hosting server as if it had been on their personal computer. Every time an individual access a data on the server, the server transmits a copy of the data file, which is cache on the user’s personal computer while the information is being processed which is subsequently returned to the server.
Whenever individuals attempt to gain access to a share found off the DFS root, the individual is actually going through a DFS link allowing the DFS server to automatically re-direct it to the appropriate share and file server.
There can be two methods for utilizing DFS on a Windows Server:
A Standalone or Distinct DFS root provides you with a DFS root found only on the local computer, which therefore does not make use of Active Directory. A Standalone DFS can only be accessed on the local PC where it was made. It does not feature any kind of fault tolerance and could not be connected to any other DFS.
Domain-based DFS roots can be found within Active Directory which enables you to have their information and facts distributed to any number of domain controllers located in the domain; this provides you with fault tolerance to DFS. DFS roots that can be found on a domain needs to be hosted on a domain controller. This is to make sure that links with identical target get hold of all their duplicated data through the network. The file and root data is replicated by means of the Microsoft File Replication Service (FRS).
Advantages of DFS
1. Easy accessibility: individuals do not need to be aware of various locations from where they acquire data. Simply by remembering a single location they will have access to the data.
2. Fail Tolerance: for master DFS hosting server it is possible to obtain a duplicate (Target) on yet another DFS Server. With the help of the master DFS server end users are still able to continue on accessing the data from a back-up DFS (Target). There is absolutely no interruption in being able to access information.
3. Load Balancing: in the event that all of the DFS root servers and targets are operating in good condition, it results in Load balancing. This is often accomplished by indicating locations for different users.
4. Security and safety: By making use of the NTFS configuration, security is put into practice.