Windows Server

Windows Server 2008 : Install and Configure the File Services Role

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10/29/2010 6:57:53 PM
You can solve this problem by installing the File Services role in Server 2008. The File Services role is not a single application but a group of services that facilitate sharing files—distributing shares over several servers, managing resources (including reporting), providing search capability, and providing support for POSIX clients.

To install the File Services role, perform the following steps:

Launch the Server Manager, scroll down to the roles summary, and Click Add Roles.

When the Add Roles Wizard appears, choose the File Services role and click Next.

On the next page, which includes Introduction to Files services, Things to Note, and Additional Information sections, take note of the information and check out a few of the links. When you are ready to proceed, click Next.

Next, you see the role services you can install (see Figure 1), depending on what you want to accomplish with your file server. You can really pick and choose the components you would like to install. In this case, you will install all the file services components except the indexing service.

Figure 1. Installation choices for the File Services role.


As you may have noted in the Things to Note section of the wizard, Windows Search Service and Indexing Service cannot be installed on the same server. Microsoft recommends installing the Windows Search Service, unless there is a need to support older indexes.

Create a DFS namespace. You can choose to create this name now or later by using Server Manager, but in this case, create a DFS namespace now, choose the name, and click Next.

Choose the namespace type. Domain-based namespaces are stored on one or more namespace servers and within Active Directory Domain Services. If you choose a domain–based namespace, you then have the option of also enabling Windows Server 2008 mode. Stand-alone namespaces are stored on a single namespace server. After you choose your namespace type, click Next.

Configure your namespace by adding folders (see Figure 2) and folder targets, which serves as your virtual view of the namespace. After you have added folders, click Next.

Figure 2. Add folders to configure DFS namespaces.

At this point, configure your storage usage monitoring. Choose the NTFS volumes you want to monitor and choose the monitoring options. The first section is Specify the Usage Threshold of This Volume; this is a percentage of the volume drive space. The second section offers a choice of reports:

  • Large File Report

  • Least Recently Accessed Files

  • Most Recently Accessed Files

  • Quota Usage Report

  • Duplicate File Report

  • Files by Owner Group Report (default)

  • Files by File Group Report (default)

  • File Screen Audit Report

Choose the reports and volume threshold and then click Next.

Choose the location of the reports that should be created when a volume threshold is reached. You can also choose to receive reports via e-mail. Click the Send Reports to the Following Administrators checkbox, enter an e-mail address and an SMTP server for e-mail delivery, and click Next.

Choose your Windows Search Service options by simply checking the options you want to index to be used with Windows Search Service.

When you see the confirmation page where you can review your installation choices, confirm that everything is correct and click Install.

When the installation is complete, you receive a results report that confirms that all services were installed correctly. If there are any errors, you can view what failed to install and why in this section of the wizard. If all is well and everything has installed correctly, click Close and restart the server.

After the server is restarted, you can go to Server Manager and look at some more options you have for the configuration of your file services.

At the file services level, you can add additional file services roles. Therefore, if you installed only the File Services role or just a few of the roles, you can now add more. The other two configurable/manageable roles are Share and Storage Management and DFS Management. Let’s assume that you’ve installed all the roles you chose earlier, and you now need to manage the File Services role in Windows Server 2008. Let’s take a look at what is involved in managing the remaining file services roles.

Work with Share and Storage Management

The Share and Storage Management role is broken down into two sections: Share and Storage Manager and File Server Resource Manager. Choose the Share and Storage Manager, and you notice immediately that all your shares are visible and sorted by protocol (see Figure 3)

Figure 3. Managing your file shares by using the Share and Storage Manager.

The Actions pane shows the items you can manage:

  • Provision Storage: You can create volumes from available disk space on the server or storage subsystems that support Virtual Disk Service (VDS). You can also use this wizard to provision LUNs in a storage array.

  • Provision Share: You can create volumes and folders that can be shared. You can also manage access permissions, disk quotas, and file screens.

  • Manage Sessions: You can view or disconnect one or more users from shared folders that reside on this server.

  • Manage Open Files: You can view or close one or more directories or files that reside on this server.

  • Edit NFS Configuration: This configuration guide provides assistance for setting up a file share that can be used with UNIX clients. It contains wizards for identity mapping and creating NFS folder shares. It provides guidance for setting up domain authorization, opening firewall ports, and using additional resources to allow NFS to work correctly.

If you highlight a share, you see more actions:

  • Stop Sharing: Stops sharing a folder or volume that is on this server.

  • Properties: Contains two tabs for configuration: Sharing and Permissions. The Sharing tab contains information about the share path and advanced setting. In the advanced settings, you can configure the user limit, access enumeration, and availability of offline files (caching). In the Permissions tab you can view and configure share permissions and NTFS permissions.

As you can see, there is not much to configure, but you have quite a bit of control over the Share and Storage Management role. Next let’s look at the File Server Resource Manager.

Work with the File Server Resource Manager

The File Server Resource Manager portion of the Share and Storage Management role contains three areas of management:

  • Quota Management: You can create a quota to limit how much disk space a DFS folder can use. You can create a quota by using a quota template, or you can create a custom quota. The quota properties allow you to change the quota template or space limit, set a soft or hard quota or warning thresholds, and disable a quota.

  • File Screen Management: You can create a file screen to block particular file types from being saved to a volume or folder. As with quota management, you can use predefined templates (audio/video files, executables), or you can create a custom filter. The screen filters can be active (not allow saving) or passive (allow saving and report). You can set up e-mail alerts, send warnings to the event log, run commands or scripts, and generate reports. You can also create new templates and add or edit existing file groups, as needed, to exclude or include file types.


    Editing file groups using File Screen Management can be useful for organizations that need to save video files (for example, in .avi format) to their DFS file shares but perhaps want to block all other audio and video file formats from being saved in the folder. Editing the audio and video file group allows you to remove files with the .avi extension but leave the rest. Conversely, as new formats become used, you can add those file extensions here to be blocked.

  • Storage Reports Management: You can configure and schedule reporting tasks for volumes or folders, choose volumes or folders to report on, select reports to generate, select the reporting format, choose the report delivery method (either e-mail or saved to a preset location on the server), and create a schedule for the reports to run. When a report is created, you have the option of running the report on demand from the Actions pane.

Now that you have considered how to manage your file shares and file server resources, let’s look at managing the DFS Management role.

Work with DFS Management

The DFS Management role is broken down into two parts: namespace and replication. The management snap-in begins with a Getting Started page that provides an overview of management tasks; you can also perform some tasks from the Action pane. The Action pane allows you to do the following:

  • Create new namespaces

  • Create new replication groups

  • Add namespaces to display

  • Add replication groups to display

The namespace and replication parts provide additional tasks. Let’s look at each one individually and examine how to create and manage a namespace, set up replication, add additional servers to a namespace, delegate management permissions, and create reports. Let’s begin by looking at managing namespaces.

Manage Namespaces

To create a new namespace, you click the New Namespace choice to launch the New Namespace Wizard. Then you follow these steps:

Choose a server to host the namespace and click Next.

Enter a name for the namespace and edit the settings to change the shared folder permissions. Click Next.

Choose Domain-based (and Mode) or Stand-Alone and then click Next.

Review the settings and click Create.

You can now choose to display namespace that are not currently viewable in DFS Management. Here’s what you do:

Click Add Namespaces to Display from the Actions pane.

Choose your domain and server and click Show Namespaces.

Choose the namespace to display and click OK.

Here’s how you delegate management permissions:

Click Delegate Management Permissions from the Actions pane.

Select the domain and click Show Users and Groups.

Click Add to delegate permissions of the folder to users and/or groups. Or remove delegation permissions. When you are finished, click OK.

Finally, on the namespace properties page, you can view the namespace, the type, and the number of folders with targets. You can also choose the referral time and the ordering method of referrals for folders. You can also choose to optimize for consistency or scalability.

Manage Replication

You can set up a new replication group by following these steps:

Select Actions, New Replication Group.

Choose the replication type: Multipurpose or Replication Group for Data Collection. Click Next.

Name the replication group, add an optional description, and choose the domain. Click Next.

Choose replication group members; add two or more servers to be a part of the replication group. Click Next.

Now choose options in the Topology Selection:

  • Hub and Spoke: For this topology, three or more servers are needed. Spoke members are connected to one or two hubs, and hubs replicate data out to the spokes.

  • Full Mesh: With this topology, each member replicates with all other members of the replication group. This topology should be used with 10 or fewer replication group members.

  • No Topology: You use this option to create a custom replication topology. When you are done with the wizard, click Next.

Choose the replication schedule: either continuous replication or scheduled replication based on specific days and times. Then choose to throttle your bandwidth (16Kbps – 256Mbps) or use the full bandwidth for replication. Click Next.

Choose your primary member. This is the server that contains the content you want replicated to the other partners in the group. Select the server and click Next.

Select the folders on the primary member that you want replicated. Click Next.

Choose the local path where the data will be stored on the other group members. Click Next.

Review the settings and click Create to set up the replication groups.

When the replication group is created, you can view the memberships, connections, replicated folders, and delegations. You can also manage some items:

  • New Members: You can add new member servers to the replication group.

  • New Replicated Folders: You can add additional folders to the replication group.

  • New Connection: You can create a connection between two members.

  • Create a Diagnostic Report: You can create a health report or a propagation report, and you can perform a propagation test.

  • Verify Topology: You can check that all partners in the replication group are connected and that data can replicate throughout the group.

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