6.2 File Services Functionality

This section provides a general overview of how the core protocols operate as a group to provide File Services functionality, followed by an individual view of each core protocol. The "Implementation Scenarios" section later in this document provides examples that illustrate the interaction of some of the protocols in two sample configurations.

The File Services includes the following key components:

  • Distributed File System (DFS) Namespace: This component links together shared folders on different servers to create a hierarchical structure that behaves like a single shared folder. Users can navigate the namespace without having to know the physical server names or shared folders that host the data. DFS also provides increased availability, storage scalability, load sharing, and simplified maintenance.

    • Disk Quotas: Windows Server 2003 operating system provides disk-quota functionality that tracks quotas on a per-user, per-volume basis. After a system administrator enables the warning level and limit, these settings apply to all users who own files stored on the volume. Any user who creates a new file on that volume is automatically assigned the current warning level and limit.

    • File Replication Service (FRS): This component is a multi-master replication service used to replicate files and folders in the SYSVOL shared folder on domain controllers and in DFS and non-DFS shared folders. FRS works by detecting changes to files and folders in a replica set, and then replicating those changes to other replica members, which are connected in a replication topology. FRS is a multi-master replication service, so any member of a replica set can generate changes. In addition, FRS can resolve file and folder conflicts to make data consistent among the replica members.

    • Shadow Copies for Shared Folders: This component provides point-in-time copies of files that are located on file servers. With Shadow Copies for Shared Folders, users can quickly recover deleted or changed files stored on the network without administrator assistance, which increases productivity and reduces administrative costs.

    • World Wide Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV)—This component is the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standard (see RFC 2518 and related documents) for collaborative authoring on the web. The standard defines a set of extensions to Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) that are designed to facilitate collaborative file management and editing between remote users connected by the Internet.

The following subsections describe the purpose of each individual protocol.