Discussion:
Microsoft's DFS
(too old to reply)
Norman P. B. Joseph
2001-03-27 22:58:19 UTC
Permalink
Does anyone have any experience with or knowledge of Microsoft's DFS product?
I'm asking here because some M$-centric types in my organization are looking
at it in comparison with AFS (and, of course, with a bias towards Microsoft).
Does anyone know a good source of un-biased information about its strenghts &
weaknesses?

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colin ellis
2001-03-28 09:05:16 UTC
Permalink
Just a query - are you sure it really is a microsoft
product?
Gerhard Gonter
2001-03-28 09:30:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by colin ellis
Just a query - are you sure it really is a microsoft
product?
Forrest D. Whitcher
2001-03-28 12:14:50 UTC
Permalink
Very ugly

Actually 'Dfs' claims to offer pretty similar (if trivial) function as
what AFS / DFS provide.

MS originally released this as free software 4-5 years ago, I don't
know what they've done with it since, I beleive OSF tried to go
after them for the obvious copyright infringement. I don't know
where that went ... from the microsoft site:

Microsoft Distributed File System :
[Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0; Distributed
File System (Dfs); Dfs Administrator's Guide;
logical structure; tree structure]

from the win2k mag article: ('96)

Don't confuse Dfs with other distributed file systems used in UNIX
environments (for information about the differences see "Dfs vs. DFS,").
With Dfs, you can build a Dfs name space (or directory tree) so users
view only one directory that spans all the file servers and server shares
in the network, instead of a long list of servers and shares, each with a
separate directory. You can position each network resource in the most
logical place in your Dfs tree, regardless of where it is actually located
in the network. Furthermore, Dfs is only software. No new file systems are
created, so no extra security is required beyond native NT security.
...
A Dfs volume can increase data availability because you can use multiple
servers (a.k.a. alternate paths) as duplicate storage points for any part
of the Dfs tree.
Post by colin ellis
Just a query - are you sure it really is a microsoft
product?
Joseph S Barrera III
2001-03-28 14:32:22 UTC
Permalink
No, Transarc sells DFS, Microsoft sells Dfs, these are completely
different things. Dfs has nothing to do with DFS or even AFS.
There's something terribly ironic about Microsoft using case
sensitivity to differentiate its prodct from another, given
Microsoft's general approach towards case sensitivity in the
filesystem.

- Joe

colin ellis
2001-03-28 11:51:08 UTC
Permalink
Ok - point taken - nasty Microsoft trying to benefit
from another company's product name.

sounds from the tech description that it's working at
a layer above the 'new and improved' SMB. Is that
really going to be better performance than AFS on UDP?

I sympathise with you that you have to explain to your
bosses why you would prefer to use the higher
performance and more stable system over something that
was created to 'sit there and look pretty in a box'.

Best of luck, sorry I wasn't of any help.

Colin
Post by colin ellis
Post by colin ellis
Just a query - are you sure it really is a
microsoft
Post by colin ellis
product?
Dirk Heinrichs
2001-03-28 12:44:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Norman P. B. Joseph
Does anyone have any experience with or knowledge of Microsoft's DFS product?
I'm asking here because some M$-centric types in my organization are looking
at it in comparison with AFS (and, of course, with a bias towards Microsoft).
Does anyone know a good source of un-biased information about its strenghts &
weaknesses?
I don't know for shure, but I would believe that M$ Dfs is not available
for other Platforms than Windows, whereas (Open)AFS runs on both Unix
and Windows. If your company uses both systems, this would be an
argument for AFS.

Bye...

Dirk
--
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Configuration Manager | Fax: +49 (0)241 413 2640
QIS Systemhaus GmbH | Mail: ***@qis-systemhaus.de
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D-52070 Aachen | ICQ#: 110037733
Nathan Rawling
2001-03-28 12:51:33 UTC
Permalink
Admittedly, it has been many years since I had this argument but...
Post by Forrest D. Whitcher
A Dfs volume can increase data availability because you can use multiple
servers (a.k.a. alternate paths) as duplicate storage points for any part
of the Dfs tree.
Does not include the "root" that your clients point to, in order to find
the Dfs tree. This may have changed in later versions (I hope). Probably
you're just supposed to cluster the heck out of that one machine and hope
the network it's on stays up.

<shudder>

To my understading DFS is just SMB that allows you to mount servers shares
on other server shares similar to what any UNIX filesystem will allow you
to do with NFS or anything else. It still has all of the inherent
"features" of SMB like poor performance, weak authentication, and limited
cross-platform capability.

Only more so.

Nathan

--
Nathan Rawling ***@firedrake.net KC8BOA
"Rome did not create a great empire by having meetings,
they did it by killing all those who opposed them."
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