Designing DFS Namespaces

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

Users might have difficulty finding information in shared folders that are located on numerous file servers. Because shared folders are usually associated with physical servers, the user must first determine which physical server is hosting the shared folder. For example, a user might need to access product information about a server named \\Building 4\Marketing2\Prod_Info and on a server named \\Corporate\Floor 4\Sales\Prod_Info.

You can use DFS to address this challenge by consolidating a large set of physical shared folders into one or more virtual namespaces. You do not need to modify the shared folders to add them to the namespace, and users can navigate the namespace without having to know the physical server names or shared folders hosting the data.

Figure 2.3 outlines the general process of designing one or more DFS namespaces. For an Excel spreadsheet to assist you in documenting your DFS namespace design decisions, see "DFS Configuration Worksheet" (Sdcfsv_1.xls) on the Microsoft® Windows® Server 2003 Deployment Kit companion CD (or see "DFS Configuration Worksheet" on the Web at

Figure 2.3   Designing DFS Namespaces

Designing DFS Namespaces

For more information about DFS security, see "Planning DFS and FRS Security" later in this chapter. For in-depth technical and troubleshooting information about DFS, see the Windows Security Collection of the Windows Server 2003 Technical Reference (or see the Windows Security Collection on the Web at