FACT: DFS Replication is not cluster-aware

by Shijaz Abdulla on 07.10.2008 at 07:46

Distributed File System (DFS) that comes with Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2003 R2 is not cluster-aware.

You will not be able to add the virtual name of a file server cluster while defining a namespace server. Even if you try to get away by typing in the virtual name without browsing for it, you will most likely end up with an error:

The object identifier does not represent a valid object.

This means you cannot replicate between a file server cluster and a standalone file server (or another file server cluster).

To sum up, Microsoft DFS Replication service is not cluster aware and hence you cannot replicate data stored on shared storage. Even if you manage to do it, remember that storing replicated folders on a shared storage is NOT supported.

Windows Server 2008 DFS: More than 5000 folders allowed!

by Shijaz Abdulla on 02.08.2007 at 07:36

Distributed File System (DFS) currently has a size recommendation of 5000 folders with a target in a domain-based namespace. In Windows Server 2008, this limit has been lifted and you can now use the DFS Management MMC snap-in to create namespaces that support more than 5000 folders.

In order for the domain-based DFS namespace to support more than 5000 folders, you should create the namespace in Windows Server 2008 mode. As of now, there is no hard limit on the maximum number of folders, although Microsoft is doing performance tests. The new version supports access-based enumeration, full configuration using DfsUtil, and scales pretty well.

To create a domain-based namespace in Windows Server 2008 mode, the domain functional level should be at least Windows Server 2008 and all the servers hosting your DFS namespace should be running Windows Server 2008.