How to: Configure Windows 2008 R2 Core as Microsoft File Server with DFS-R

When you’re planning to deploy a (new) file server infrastructure, you’ve the choice to deploy the full version of Windows 2008 R2, or you can deploy the Core version of Windows 2008 R2. In this blogpost I’m going to show you a deployment of Windows 2008 R2 Core version with the File Services, DFS and DFSR roles enabled. Cool stuff!!

1.) Install Microsoft Windows 2008 R2 Core edition
2.) Change the name, IP adres, subnet mask, gateway and DNS. You can easy do this with sconfig
3.) Enable remote management settings. You can also use sconfig for this actions.
4.) Open the System Manager from a different server in the same domain
5.) Right click on local computer and select “Connect to another computer
6.) Type the name of the Windows 2008 R2 Core server
7.) Now you can perform remote actions on the Core server
8.) Create the partitions on your Core server.
9.) Open the “Share and Storage Management” console and connect to the Core server
10.) Now you can create shares on the Core file server

If you want to enable Distributed File System (DFS) on your Core server, you can enter the following commands.

1.) Connect to the Core server with the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP)
2.) Open the command prompt
3.) To enable the Distributed File System Service, you can type the following command:
Dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:DFSN-Server
4.) To enable also Destribution File System Replication, you can type the following command:
Dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:DFSR-Infrastructure-ServerEdition
5.) To manage the DFS environment, you can install the following Windows Feature: Distributed File System Tools
6.) Open the “DFS Management console”
7.) Create a new Namespace for your DFS environment
8.) Enter the server that will host the namespace. Most of the time this will be one or more domain controllers
9.) Type the name of the new namespace. In my environment it is DFS
10.) Select the type of namespace. In my environment it is a Domain-based namespace.(\\testlab.local\DFS\)
11.) Select create to finish

Now you’re able to create some folder within your DFS namespace. Lets add the previous created shares to our DFS namespace.

1.) Right click on your namespace and select “New Folder
2.) Type in the Name
3.) Select a new Folder target of targets. You can simply use the UNC path to the share on the right server
4.) When you’re browsing to \\domainname\namespace, you’re seeing the folderstructure.
5.) Create some folder and connect back to your Core server
6.) Open the command prompt and navigate to your Data partition. In my environment it is E:\Groups
7.) As you can see, there’re the same folder! 😉

In the next post I’m going to at the replication, so DFS-R. Hopefully this blogpost helps you out!