DFS and Clustering

There seems to be some confusion around the Distributed File System (DFS) and Windows Server 2003 server clustering. First, let’s look at the terms for DFS so we start from the same foundation in this discussion. DFS Root – Think of this as a name space (DFS-N) or share name. This is the name that you connect to as a client computer. Underneath the root are the many different folders and files that may be on a single server or may be distributed around to multiple servers (i.e. some files located in a folder named Accounting on one server and … Continue reading DFS and Clustering

Exchange Troubleshooting Assistant v1.0

I don’t know how this managed to slip by me. The Exchange Troubleshooting Assistant, ExTRA, looks like a great tool that can be extremely valuable. I am guessing that, in combination with ExBPA, troubleshooting performance problems or connection issues will become pretty easy for the average Exchange administrator. The tool can be installed directly on an Exchange server or on a client computer that runs .NET Framework v1.1 or higher and is run under the context of an account with proper permissions on the Exchange environment. I have to admit, I loved that it automatically installed in my Microsoft Exchange menu, so … Continue reading Exchange Troubleshooting Assistant v1.0

DNS Round Robin – IIS

Open up the attachment below. It demonstrates how DNS round robin works. DNS Round robin is a common solution for enabling load balancing for Internet server farms. Consider the following example in which there are three IP address entries for the same host name on a DNS server.  In DNS, there are three entries:   WebApp1   WebApp1   WebApp1 You can also replicate this example some time just by playing with your own DNS server. If you create three host records with the same name but with three different IP addresses, you will have implemented DNS round … Continue reading DNS Round Robin – IIS

DNS Round Robin – File or Printer Shares

A common question comes up in the public newsgroups on windows clustering all the time. "Can I use DNS round robin to provide high availability for printers or file shares." The answer is usually, "No." The reason is that NetBIOS names are used for these types of connections and the client must know the NetBIOS name of the target server. So, when you try to connect to a UNC path, i.e. \\servername\sharename, this is treated the same as if you were to run the Net command, i.e. "net use * \\servername\sharename" to connect. The * in the command is normally … Continue reading DNS Round Robin – File or Printer Shares