A Full Introduction to DFS (Distributed File System) [MiniTool Wiki]

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With the rapid development of network-based computing, client/server-based applications have brought revolutionary changes in the process of building distributed file systems.

Sharing storage resources and information on the network is one of the key elements of local area networks (LAN) and wide-area networks (WAN). With the development of the network itself, different technologies such as DFS have been developed to bring convenience and efficiency when sharing resources and files on the network.

Tip: To learn more information about the distributed file system, you can continue to read this post from MiniTool.

What Is DFS

What is DFS? DFS is the abbreviation of the distributed file system, which is a file system that stores data on a server. Access and process data as if stored on a local client computer.

Through DFS, you can easily share information and files between users on the network in a controlled and authorized manner. The server allows client users to share files and store data as if they were storing information locally. However, the server has full control over the data and delegates access control to the client.

Also see: What Is DFSR and How to Install It on Windows 10?

How Does DFS Work

DFS can be achieved in two ways.

Independent DFS namespace: It only allows those DFS root directories that exist on the local computer and does not use Active Directory. The standalone DFS can only be obtained on those computers where the DFS was created. It does not provide any failure release function, nor can it be linked to any other DFS. The root causes of independent DFS are few because their advantages are limited.

Domain-based DFS namespace: It stores the DFS configuration in Active Directory, and creates a DFS namespace root directory that can be accessed at \\ <domain name> \ <dfsroot> or \\ <FQDN> \ <dfsroot>.

Features of DFS

Here are the features of DFS.

User mobility: It will automatically bring the user's home directory to the node where the user logs in.

Easy to use: The user interface of the file system should be simple, and the number of commands in the file should be small.

High availability: The distributed file system should be able to continue operating in the event of partial failures (such as link failures, node failures, or storage drive crashes).

Performance: Performance is based on the average time it takes to convince customers to request. This time includes CPU time + time required to access auxiliary storage + network access time. It is recommended that the performance of the distributed file system be similar to that of the centralized file system.

Advantages and Disadvantages of DFS

Next, let’s see the advantages and disadvantages of the distributed file system.

Advantages of DFS

  • It allows multiple users to access or store data.
  • It allows remote sharing of data.
  • It improves the ability to change the size of data, and also improved the ability to exchange data.
  • Even if the server or disk fails, the distributed file system can provide data transparency.
  • It improves file availability, access time, and network efficiency.

Disadvantages of DFS

  • When moving from one node to another, messages and data may be lost in the network.
  • Compared with a single-user system, it is not easy to handle the database in a distributed file system.
  • In a distributed file system, nodes and connections need to be protected, so it can be said that security is threatened.
  • If all nodes try to send data at once, overload may occur.

Application of DFS

At last, we will introduce the applications of DFS.

NFS: NFS stands for Network File System. It is a client-server architecture that allows computer users to view, store, and update files remotely. The NFS protocol is one of several distributed file system standards for network-attached storage (NAS).

CIFS: CIFS stands for Common Internet File System. CIFS is the accent of SMB. In other words, CIFS is an application of the SIMB protocol designed by Microsoft.

SMB: SMB stands for Server Message Block. It is a protocol for sharing files, invented by IMB. The SMB protocol was created to allow computers to perform read and write operations on files sent to remote hosts via a local area network (LAN).

Final Words

To sum up, this post introduces the definition, advantages, disadvantages, applications of the distributed file system. Besides, you can know how it works.

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