DFS : installation and configuration – Distributed File System

Windows Server 2019

The namespace of DFS makes it possible to provide shared, which are on different servers under the same name.

Instead of accessing a shared folder with the \\server-file\ computer address, we will use an address of the type \\domain-name\ share\ computer. The user will be redirected transparently on the “server-file” server.

In a simplified way, in the folder \\domain-name\share will be shortcuts to other shares that are several servers and this in a completely transparent way for the user.

Using DFS also makes it easy to add resource and server migration because you only need to edit the folder in the namespace.

Another interesting point with DFS is the high availability of files, it is possible to replicate the content of a share between several servers and present it under the namespace.

Through this tutorial, we will see how to configure a namespace, add a shared folder and use replication.



  • Know Windows Folder Sharing
  • Servers must be a member of an Active Directory domain

Role installation

In PowerShell

1. Open a PowerShell command prompt as Administrator.

2. Enter the following command:

Get-WindowsFeature FS-DFS* | Install-WindowsFeature –IncludeManagementTools

3. Wait during the installation.

Installation en cours....

4. When the installation is complete, close the window.

Installation terminée

With the graphical interface

1. From the server manager, click Add Roles and Features 1 .

Gestionnaire de serveur

2. When launching the wizard, click the Next 1 button.

Assistant installation

3. Choose Role Based Installation or 1 Feature and click Next 2 .

Choix mode d'installation

4. Select server 1 then click Next 2 .

Choisir le serveur

5. Check the box for the DFS Namespace role 1 in File and Storage Services / File Services and iSCSI.

Choisir le rôle DFS

6. Validate by clicking features by clicking Add Features 1 .

Confirmer l'ajout

7. Optional: Check the DFS Replication 1 box if you plan to replicate the folder.

Option de réplication

8. Click Next 1 .

Passer à l etape suivante

9. Skip features by clicking Next 1.

Passer les fonctionnalités

10. Start the installation by clicking the Install 1 button.

Démarrer l'installation

11. Wait during the installation …

Patienter durant l'installation

12. The installation completed, exit the wizard by clicking Close 1 .

Fermer l'assistant

Role administration is done using the DFS Distributed File System Management console.

Accès à la console

Configuration: Creating a namespace

1. From the “DFS Distributed File System Management” console, click New Namespace … 1 in the Actions section.

Console DFS

2. Enter the name 1 of the server that will host the namespace and click Next 2 .

Serveur DFS

3. Enter the root share name 1 and click Next 2 .

Nom racine

4. Choose Domain Name Space 1 and click Next 2 .

Type d'espace de nom

A domain name space allows access to the folder by an address of type: \\domain-name\root-share\shared-folder.

5. Click the Create button 1 .

Lancer la création

6. Once created, click Close 1 to exit the wizard.

Ferme l'assistant

7. The namespace is available in the 1 administration console. You can now access the share \\domain-ad\share.

Namespance dans la console

8. By clicking on the 1 namespace and going to the 2 Namespace Servers tab, you can see the server path 3> >.

Accès à l'espace de nom

Configuration: Add a server to the namespace

In order to ensure the best availability of the server, we will see how to add a server to the namespace.

The DFS role must be installed on the server.

1. From the Distributed File System Administration console, right-click on the 1 namespace and click Add Namespace Server … 2 .

Ajout d'un serveur au namespace dfs

2. Enter the server name 1 and click OK 2 .

Indiquer le serveur

3. It can be seen that the namespace is now distributed by 2 servers 1 .

Espace de nom distribué par plusieurs serveurs

Configuration: Adding Shared Folders

In this part we will see how to add a shared folder.

The folder will be accessible at the following address: \\domain-ad\namespace\folder.


  • The folder must already be shared.

To illustrate the tutorial, we will add in an IT folder that is shared on the LAB-FIC1 server.

1. From the console, right-click on the 1 namespace and click on New Folder … 2 .

Ajout d'un dossier

2. Enter the name of the folder 1 in the namespace then click on Add 2 .

Nom du namespace

3. Enter the name of the server 1 , click on the Show shared folders 2 button, select the folder 3 and press OK 4 .

Ajout du dossier partégé

4. Click OK 1 .


5. Click OK 1 .


6. The file is added 1 .

Dossier ajouté

7. Launch Windows Explorer and verify that the added folder is accessible 1 .

Partage disponible dans l'explorateur

Configuration: Replicated Folder

In this part, we will see how to set up a folder replicate between multiple servers in a namespace.


  • The DFS-R role must be installed on the servers that host the replicated folder.
  • The folder must be shared on each server.

To illustrate the tutorial, we will replicate a common folder that is present on both servers (LAB-AD1 and LAB-AD2) which also have the namespace.

Configuring replication

1. From the console, right-click Replication 1 and click New Replication Group …. 2 .

Ajout dossier répliqué

2. Choose Multi-Purpose Replication Group 1 and click Next 2 .

Type de réplication

3. Enter the name of the replication group 1 , select the domain 2 and click Next 3 .

Nom du groupe de réplication

4. Add the servers that are members of replication group 1 and click Next 2 .

Ajout des serveurs

5. Select the full mesh topology 1 and click Next 2 .


6. Select continuous replication 1 and click the Next 2 button.


7. Choose main member 1 for replication then click Next 2 .

Choisir le membre principal

The primary member will be used as the source during the first replication.

8. Click on Add 1 .

Ajout membre

9. Select the folder to replicate 1 on the primary member and click OK 2 .

Dossier principal

10. Once the folders have been added 1 to the replication group, click Next 2 .

Dossier ajouté

It is impossible to replicate multiple folders within the same group.

11. Select member server 1 and click Edit 2 to configure the replicated folder path.

Configuration des membres

2. Enable replication on member 1 by selecting the option, indicate the location on server 2 and click OK 3 .

Activé la réplication

Points 11 and 12 are to be done on each member server of the group.

13. Servers configured 1 , click Next 2 .

Serveurs configurés

14. Click the Create button 1 .


15. The replication group is created, exit the wizard by clicking Close 1 .

Réplication créée

16. Click OK 1 to close the message, which informs you that initial replication may take a while.


17. The replication group is displayed in the 1 console.

Groupe disponible dans la console

Add the replicated folder to the namespace

1. Right-click on the 1 namespace and click on New 2 folder.

Ajouter groupe de réplication à l'espace de nom

2. Enter the name of the folder 1 and click on Add 2 .

Ajout des serveurs

3. Enter the UNC path of the share 1 and click OK 2 to add the folder.


4. Repeat the operation to add the servers that are members of replication group 1 and click OK 2 .

Ajouter tous les serveurs

5. An alert message appears, click No 1 . The replication group is already created.

Fermer le message

6. The file is added 1 with the different targets 2 .

Dossier ajouté

Leave a Comment