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Understanding the Distributed File System

Another possibility for sharing resources on the network is to use the Distributed File System (DFS). DFS provides a hierarchical tree structure that enables users to access resources anywhere in the domain. The actual location of the resource, such as a volume or a folder, is transparent to the users. This allows resources to be spread across file servers and also supports the creation of identical shared folders that supply the same resources to the users and also provide fault tolerance for the resource or resources themselves.

The best thing about DFS is that users do not need to know the name of the server that is providing the shared resources (as a user does when trying to map a drive to a shared resource). Network administrators also benefit from the use of DFS because, if a file server fails, the DFS tree can be made to point to a redundant set of the shares on another server. This action is transparent to the users, who still can access the share or shares as if they were still available at the original location.

DFS enables you to use the shares that you have created and the various share and NTFS permissions that you have set for shares and files. DFS is really just supplying an overall structure for how users see and access the shares.

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