Overview of Designing and Deploying File Servers

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

File servers provide users a way to access shared data within their department or organization. The simplest way to create a file server is to share a folder on a server. However, this solution does not provide file server manageability, scalability, availability, or security. To achieve these goals, you can deploy the following Windows Server 2003 solutions:

Shadow copies   If users frequently require administrators to restore deleted or overwritten files from tape, shadow copies provide point-in-time copies of files in shared folders, allowing users to recover files that were accidentally deleted or overwritten.

DFS   If users need to access files on multiple file servers without having to keep track of all the server names, you can use DFS to logically group physical shared folders located on different servers by transparently connecting them to one or more hierarchical namespaces. DFS also provides fault-tolerance and load-sharing capabilities.

FRS and Windows server clusters   Windows Server 2003 provides two independent solutions, FRS and server clusters, to ensure that important business data is always available, even if a server fails or is taken offline for maintenance.

Disk quotas   By using the disk quotas feature in Windows Server 2003, you can track files on a per-volume, per-user basis to monitor disk space use and to prevent file servers from filling to capacity without warning.

NTFS permissions   To prevent unauthorized users from accessing folders, you can use NTFS file system permissions to specify the groups and users whose access you want to restrict or allow and then select the type of access.

You can use the following information to design your organization’s file services. Or, if your organization already has file servers running Microsoft® Windows® NT 4.0 or Microsoft® Windows® 2000 operating systems, you can use the following information to improve the design of your existing file services to take advantage of the new and enhanced features in the Microsoft® Windows® Server 2003, Standard Edition; Windows® Server 2003, Enterprise Edition; and Windows® Server 2003, Datacenter Edition operating systems.