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DFS Root Namespace location

    Question

  • Hello,

    Bringing a new AD/File Services system into production (2008 R2 Enterprise).  I currently have 5 file servers, all with a single data volume provided by our SAN.  Planning to use a domain DFS Namespace (no DFS replication) to provide access.  Two questions:

    1.  Does anyone see any problem with creating a DFS Root Namespace on the SAN volume (the same volume housing the data)?  I'd rather not create it on C:\, as it is much easier to strip away the permissions on a data volume.

    2.  Do I need to install the DFS Namespaces role on each server that will be a Namespace Server?  For example, I install the DFS Namespaces role on fs01 and create my namespace.  I then want to add fs02 as a Namespace server... do I need to install the role on fs02 before I attempt to add it as a namespace server?

    Thanks,

    Dasani

    Monday, April 30, 2012 2:58 PM

All replies

  • Hello Dasani,

    1.  Does anyone see any problem with creating a DFS Root Namespace on the SAN volume (the same volume housing the data)?  I'd rather not create it on C:\, as it is much easier to strip away the permissions on a data volume.

    You should create the DFS Root namespace on the server itself and then create targets on the SAN. I think the reason being that DFS uses system volume to store critical information.  Are you using Domain Based or standalone namespace? If it is domain based, then recommendation is t o create namespace on the Domain controller namespace server

    2.  Do I need to install the DFS Namespaces role on each server that will be a Namespace Server?  For example, I install the DFS Namespaces role on fs01 and create my namespace.  I then want to add fs02 as a Namespace server... do I need to install the role on fs02 before I attempt to add it as a namespace server?

    Yes, you will need to add the DFS Namespace role on each server that will be a namespace server.


    Isaac Oben MCITP:EA, MCSE,MCC View my MCP Certifications


    • Edited by Isaac Oben Monday, April 30, 2012 3:45 PM
    Monday, April 30, 2012 3:43 PM
  • Thanks Isacc.

    We are using Domain Based namespaces.  I guess I have not read that using a Domain Controller is the best option for Domain Based namespaces, but when you think about things, it does make sense as the information about the namespace is stored in AD.  Just not sure how I feel about running the namespace role/service on my domain controllers (I'd want to run it on at least two of them).  I'll have to give it some thought.

    If you had to run the namespaces on the file servers, would you rather have the namespace root on local disk, or the SAN volume?

    Thanks again,

    Dasani

     

    Tuesday, May 01, 2012 3:07 PM
  • Hi Dasani,

    It actually doesn't matter where you create the namespace, so long as it can field the number of requests the clients will collectively generate. For that reason, it just needs to be performant from a directory query perspective (depending on your client cache settings and how many clients you actually have). If your file servers are quite busy, you might want to deliberately set up the namespace role on another server dedicated to this specific role.

    As for the structure, how you establish it really depends on your environment, but it's certainly possible (in fact, it's what we do) to have all of your namespaces on one server - though we use two namespace servers for redundancy.

    I'm sure you already know this, but it might pay to say this for anyone else not aware, but we are only talking about the namespace function, not the replicas themselves, which of course relate to the file server actually sharing the content.

    One thing I would say is do not run any of the DFS role services on a domain controller. There's no architecturally mandatory reasons for doing so and although it's an old paradigm, I still recommend it, which is to not run anything superfluous on a domain controller.

    Cheers,

    Lain

    Wednesday, May 02, 2012 1:44 AM
  • Hi Dasani,

    You can choose to have your namespace on either Fileserver or a domain controller. Here is a good article for reference while you make your choice:

    http://blogs.technet.com/b/josebda/archive/2009/06/26/how-many-dfs-n-namespaces-servers-do-you-need.aspx

     I have not seen any documentation about running a namespace root share on a SAN. What is your thought/purpose for not wanting to run it on the local disk?


    Isaac Oben MCITP:EA, MCSE,MCC View my MCP Certifications

    Wednesday, May 02, 2012 3:56 PM
  • I guess I'm one of those engineers Jose's referring to when he says "You might lose that argument" (under Deploy DFS-N on the DCs). Oh well. He's right though insofar as if you're running a small network it might make more sense, but that's more a cost decision than technical. I'd still locate it on a file server ahead of a DC.

    The SAN question is something of a moot point though, as we're not talking about replication groups here. Just to reiterate what I mentioned before, namespace resolution and replication are two separate topics. No data is being stored and replicated here, so it doesn't matter one bit whether you set up the namespace folder on local disk or SAN.

    Of course, this is only true if you do the right thing and make use of folder targets. If you just cram new folders below the namespace folders and ignore utilising folder targets, then I can see why you'd ask this question, in which case the answer would most likely be "SAN", since I wouldn't expect you can grow local disk storage capacity to the same degree as the SAN.

    Cheers,
    Lain

    • Edited by Lain Robertson Wednesday, May 02, 2012 11:53 PM Correction.
    Wednesday, May 02, 2012 11:52 PM
  • Thanks everyone for the input.

    At this point I feel our file servers are the best home for the namespaces.

    As for the location (local disk vs SAN); my primary reasons for not wanting the namespace on local disk are, the rights that are given to the everyone and users group, and simply a personal reservation about sharing anything on C.  I'll be stripping the rights from the everyone and users group on the SAN data volume anyway, so naturally the SAN data volume seems to be the best place to hold the namespace.  The namespace will be read-only, and I'm only planning to put targets inside it.

    Thanks,

    Dasani

    Thursday, May 03, 2012 3:04 PM
  • Hello Dasani,

    So why don't you create you namespace on your file server and then targets on the SAN? You don't have to use the C drive, if you have apartion D etc might be a good idea.


    Isaac Oben MCITP:EA, MCSE,MCC View my MCP Certifications

    Thursday, May 03, 2012 4:41 PM
  • Isaac,

    Yes, I certainly could create a new local partition as D.  I'm just not sure what advantage -if any, doing so would provide over just putting it on the SAN volume.

    In the event of a SAN failure, is it better that users are still able to access the root namespace (even though all the targets are pointing to the currenlty unavailable SAN) than nothing at all? 

    In the event of SAN failure, would having the namespace on local disk prevent the workstations from locking up or hanging while trying to map drives, etc... ?

    Thanks,

    Dasani

    Thursday, May 03, 2012 8:55 PM
  • Am I clear in understanding that you are doing the following. You have 5 file servers that connect to a single SAN and all pointing at the same data? You create the DFS namespace to provide a single point of entry for your users but all of the data is still in the same place? I am trying to confirm that this is supported. My SAN supports this but can't confirm that DFS will support it as long as I am not using replication it seems as if it would be a great solution.

    Thursday, November 15, 2012 12:37 AM