Distributed File System (DFS) is a set of client and server services which multiple shared folders, or target into logical namespace of roots and links. The Distributed File System is used to build a hierarchical view of multiple file servers and shares on the network. Instead of having to think of a specific machine name for each set of files, the user will only have to remember one name; which will be the 'key' to a list of shares found on multiple servers on the network.
Types of DFS Server Implementation
1. Standalone DFS, which allow for a DFS root that exists only on local computer and does not use Active Directory.
2. Domain based DFS, which exists within a Active Directory Service and can have their information distributed within the domain.
The Distributed File System console is installed by default with Windows 2003 and can be found in the administrative tools folder. To open, press Start > Programs > Administrative Tools > Distributed File System or in the Control Panel, open the Administrative Tools folder and click on the Distributed File System icon.
Now create a root. To do this, right click the node and select New Root. Press next where you will have to make the choice of creating either a stand alone or domain root. Then select the server name on the domain-> specify the root name of your primary DFS root-> select the location of a folder in which all the files will be stored->finish.
Then create links. To do this, right click the root for which you want the link to be created, and select New Link-> enter a name and path for the link and click OK.
Publishing DFS in active directory:
By publishing dfs roots in AD as volume objects, network users will be able to search for shares more easily and administration can be delegated.
To do this right click the desired dfs root, select Properties -> the Publish tab. Enter the appropriate details in each box and press OK.