File Server Implementing basic file server functions requires only a default Windows Server 2008 installation. –The File Server role is available on all versions of the Windows Server 2008 software. The process of deploying and configuring a simple file server using Windows Server 2008 includes many of the most basic server administration tasks, including installing disks, creating shares, assigning permissions, and mapping drive letters.
Working with Disks When you install additional storage on a Windows Server 2008 computer, you must address the following tasks: –Select a partitioning style. –Select a disk type. –Divide the disk into partitions or volumes. Many professionals use the terms partition and volume interchangeably. Create partitions on basic disks, and volumes on dynamic disks. –Format the partitions or volumes with a file system.
Partition Style Two hard disk partition styles can be used in Windows Server 2008: –MBR — The MBR partition style has been around as long as Windows and is still the default partition style for x86-based and x64-based computers. –GPT — GPT has also been around for a while, but no x86 version of Windows prior to Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista supports it. (Windows XP Professional x64 Edition does support GPT.) Now you can use the GPT partition style on x86- as well as x64-based computers.
Basic Disks and Partitions When you work with basic disks in Windows Server 2008: –You can create up to four primary partitions. –Or 3 three primary partitions and one extended partitions.
Dynamic Disks A dynamic disk can contain an unlimited number of volumes that function a lot like primary partitions on a basic disk, but you cannot mark an existing dynamic disk as an active partition.
Simple and Spanned Volumes Simple volume –Consists of free space contained on a single physical disk. –You can configure all of the available space on a disk as a simple volume, or you can configure multiple simple volumes using the space on a single disk. Spanned volume –Made up of free space from multiple physical disks. –Spanned volumes are not fault-tolerant. If you lose one disk in the volume, you will lose all data contained on all disks. –Created on 2 to 32 disks.
Striped Volume Made up of free space from multiple disks. Unlike a spanned volume, though, a striped volume uses RAID-0 striping to interleave the data across the disks. Improves the read performance of the volume. Striped volumes are also not fault-tolerant and will not withstand the loss of a disk in the volume. A striped volume can be created on a minimum of 2 disks and a maximum of 32 disks.
Mirrored Volume Fault-tolerant volume consisting of two physical disks, in which the data on one disk is copied exactly onto the second disk. This provides data redundancy, such that if one disk in the mirror fails, the other disk will continue to function without loss of data.
RAID-5 volume A fault-tolerant volume where data is interleaved across three or more disks much in the same way as in a striped volume. Has additional information known as parity. If one disk in a RAID-5 volume fails, the data contained on the failed disk can be rebuilt using the parity information stored on the disks in the rest of the volume. A RAID-5 volume can be created using a minimum of three disks and a maximum of 32 disks.
File Sharing Once you have configured disk drives and installed a Windows Server 2008 file server, you will need to decide how users should store their files on that server and who should be permitted to access them. This process includes designing a strategy for offering file shares on one or more servers on your network, securing those shares against unwanted access, and determining how your user base will access the information in question.
File Sharing On most enterprise networks, the principle of “least privilege” should apply. Users should have only the privileges they need to perform their required tasks and no more.
File Sharing A user’s private storage space should be exactly that, private and inaccessible, if not invisible, to other users. This is a place in which each user can store his or her private files, without exposing them to other users. Each user should therefore have full privileges to his or her private storage, with the ability to create, delete, read, write, and modify files. Other users should have no privileges to that space at all. The easiest way to create private folders with the appropriate permissions for each user is to create a home folder through each Active Directory user object.
File Sharing Sharing folders makes them accessible to network users. Once you have configured the disks on a file server, you must create shares for network users to be able to access those disks.
Permissions Permissions are privileges granted to specific system entities, such as users, groups, or computers, enabling them to perform a task or access a resource. –Share permissions. –NTFS permissions. –Registry Permissions. –Active Directory permissions.
Share Permissions By default, the Everyone special identity receives the Allow Read share permission to any new shared folders you create.
File Services Role A default Windows Server 2008 installation includes all of the components needed for a basic file server deployment. You can manage the server’s disk drives, share folders, map drives, and control access to those shares with no additional software installations. The File Services role, which implements the Distributed File System (DFS), a service that allows you to simplify the view of file shares located across multiple servers as they appear to your user base, as well as other useful technologies for implementing file sharing on a Windows Server 2008 network.
Distributed File System (DFS) Includes two technologies: –DFS Namespaces. –DFS Replication. Enable administrators to do the following: –Simplify the process of locating files. –Control the amount of traffic passing over WAN links. –Provide users at remote sites with local file server access. –Configure the network to survive a WAN link failure. –Facilitate consistent backups.
DFS Namespace DFS is a virtual namespace technology that enables you to create a single directory tree that contains references to shared folders located on various file servers, all over the network. This directory tree is virtual; it does not exist as a true copy of the folders on different servers. It is instead a collection of references to the original folders, which users can browse as though it was an actual server share. The actual shared folders are referred to as the targets of the virtual folders in the namespace.
All versions of the Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2003 operating systems can function as DFS namespace servers. –The Standard Edition and Web Edition products can host only a single DFS namespace. –The Enterprise Edition and Datacenter Edition versions can host multiple namespaces.
DFS Namespace The DFS Namespaces role service supports: –Stand-alone and domain-based. –Domain-based namspaces come in two modes: Windows Server 2008 mode and Windows 2000 mode. Based on the domain functional level of the domain hosting the namespace.
DFS Replication DFS Replication is a multiple master replication engine that can create and maintain copies of shared folders on different servers throughout an enterprise network. Provides: –Data distribution. –Load balancing. –Data Collection.
DFS Replication To enable replication for a DFS folder with multiple targets, you must create a replication group, which is a collection of servers, known as members, each of which contains a target for a particular DFS folder. In its simplest form, a folder with two targets requires a replication group with two members: the servers hosting the targets. At regular intervals, the DFS Replication engine on the namespace server triggers replication events between the two members, using the RDC protocol, so that their target folders remain synchronized.
DFS Replication DFS Replication need not be so simple, however, as it is also highly scalable and configurable. A replication group can have up to 256 members, with 256 replicated folders, and each server can be a member of up to 256 replication groups, with as many as 256 connections (128 incoming and 128 outgoing). A member server can support up to one terabyte of replicated files, with up to eight million replicated files per volume.
Summary Planning is a critical part of a file server deployment. Your deployment plan should specify how many file servers you need, what hardware they should have, how you will configure them, how you will share the server data, and how you will protect that data.
Summary Windows Server 2008 supports two hard disk partition types: MBR and GPT; two disk types: basic and dynamic; five volume types: simple, striped, spanned, mirrored, and RAID-5; and two file systems: NTFS and FAT. Creating folder shares makes the data stored on a file server’s disks accessible to network users. Windows Server 2008 supports two hard disk partition types: MBR and GPT; two disk types: basic and dynamic; five volume types: simple, striped, spanned, mirrored, and RAID-5; and two file systems: NTFS and FAT. Creating folder shares makes the data stored on a file server’s disks accessible to network users.
Summary Windows Server 2008 has several sets of permissions that operate independently of each other including NTFS permissions, share permissions, registry permissions, and Active Directory permissions.
Summary NTFS permissions enable you to control access to files and folders by specifying just what tasks individual users can perform on them. Share permissions provide rudimentary access control for all of the files on a network share. Network users must have the proper share and NTFS permissions to access file server shares.
Summary The File Services role includes several role services that you can choose to install, including Distributed File System and Services for Network File System. Selecting individual role services can add extra configuration pages to the Add Roles Wizard.
Summary The Distributed File System (DFS) includes two technologies: DFS Namespaces and DFS Replication, which can simplify the process of locating files, control the amount of traffic passing over WAN links, provide users at remote sites with local file server access, configure the network to survive a WAN link failure, and facilitate consistent backups.
Summary DFS is a virtual namespace technology that enables you to create a single directory tree containing references to shared folders located on various file servers all over the network.
Summary A namespace server functions just like a file server except that when a user requests access to a file in the DFS directory tree, the namespace server replies—not with the file itself, but with a referral specifying the file’s actual location.
Summary DFS Replication works in tandem with DFS Namespaces to provide unified services such as data distribution, load balancing, and data collection. To enable replication for a DFS folder with multiple targets, you must create a replication group, which is a collection of servers known as members, each of which contains a target for a particular DFS folder.