Identifying File Services Goals
Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2
Some of the major steps for designing and deploying file servers might not apply to your organization. Therefore, the first step in the design process is to identify the goals that you want to achieve by deploying file servers running Windows Server 2003, as shown in Figure 2.2. These goals determine the design and deployment steps that are necessary for your organization.
Figure 2.2 Identifying File Services Goals
The following sections describe common goals for file services. Use the information in these sections to identify the goals for your organization and to find the relevant sections in this chapter or other sources of information to help you achieve those goals.
Improving the way users access files on file servers
If you want to improve how users access files on file servers, you might have the following goals:
Providing an intuitive way for users to access multiple file servers throughout the organization.
Making data on multiple file servers appear as though it were available on a single file server.
Making data available in multiple sites so that users in each site use fast, inexpensive bandwidth to access the data.
Reducing delays that occur when users access heavily used shared folders.
Providing fault-tolerant access to shared folders.
Consolidating file servers or migrating data without affecting how users locate data.
For more information about improving how users access files on file servers, see "Designing DFS Namespaces" later in this chapter.
Managing applications and user data and settings
If you are managing applications, user data, and settings, you might have the following goals:
Enabling users to access files even when they are not connected to the network.
Storing application files on file servers so that users can install the applications from the network to their local workstations.
Using Group Policy–based software management to deploy, upgrade, update, and remove users’ applications without going to individual workstations.
Allowing users to run applications from the file server.
For more information about managing applications and user data and settings, see "Implementing User State Management" and "Deploying a Managed Software Environment" in Designing a Managed Environment of this kit. For more information about hosting applications in a central location, see "Hosting Applications with Terminal Server" in this book.
Adding storage to file servers
If you plan to add storage to file servers, you might have the following goals:
Transparently adding more storage to a file server.
Making data on multiple volumes or disks in a file server appear within a single volume or drive letter.
Creating more than 26 volumes on a server without being limited by the 26-drive letter limit.
For more information about adding storage to file servers, see "Using NTFS mounted drives" in Help and Support Center for Windows Server 2003.
Planning for file server availability and reliability
If you are planning for file server availability and reliability, you might have the following goals:
Choosing file server hardware for reliability and availability.
Ensuring data availability if a file server fails or is taken offline for maintenance.
Making data available in multiple sites to provide inexpensive access to users within each site.
For more information about planning for file server availability and reliability, see "Planning File Server Availability" later in this chapter.
Choosing file server hardware and settings
If you are choosing file server hardware and settings, you might have the following goals:
Choosing compatible file server hardware that meets your performance and storage requirements.
Increasing file server performance.
Consolidating file servers to reduce management costs and increase storage allocation efficiency.
Enabling users to access previous versions of files on the file server.
Monitoring and controlling disk space use.
For more information about choosing file server hardware and settings, see "Designing a Standard File Server Configuration" later in this chapter.
Planning for file server security
If you are planning for file server security, you might have the following goals:
Protecting file servers from viruses.
Preventing unauthorized users from accessing data on file servers.
Allowing users to store encrypted files on a file server.
For more information about planning for file server security, see "Planning File Server Security" later in this chapter.