How to configure a Distributed File System (DFS) Namespace

Locating shared folders to access specific documents is a common problem in business environments. System administrators have to decide how to share folders and how the users will be able to find them.

Distributed File System (DFS) is the Microsoft solution to the problem: a simplified way for users to access geographically dispersed files.

DFS allows system administrator to create trees of virtual directories aggregating shared folders across the entire network.

There are two types of DFS:

  • DFS Namespace: a virtual tree aggregating shared folders from the entire network. Administrators can set up multiple DFS Namespaces.
  • DFS Replication: creates replicated shared folder with scheduling and bandwidth throttling configured by the administrator.

We are going to see how to configure a Distributed File System Namespace on Windows Server 2012 R2.

Configuring Volume Shadow Copies (VSS) on Windows Server 2012 R2

Volume Shadows Copies (also known as Volume Snapshot Service or VSS) is a technology developed by Microsoft to take restorable snapshots of a volume.

On Windows Server 2012 // 2012 R2 it’s quite easy to set up and restore operations are pretty straightforward.

Note: Volume Shadow Copies allow to restore previous states of the entire volume, you can’t restore previous states of single files and/or folders. (more…)

How to sync two FreeNAS storage using rsync

FreeNAS supports rsync and that’s one of the most interesting feature of the operating system. rsync is a protocol for file synchronization and transfer, a really useful tool in a storage device.

In this tutorial we’ll see how to sync a dataset – a sort of folder – between two different FreeNAS devices. In our lab we used two virtual machines following this scheme:

  • machine 01 is a file server with IP address
  • machine 02 is a synced storage for business continuity purposes with IP address

The first machine will push (rsync client) data while the second one will pull (rsync server) them.

How to install and configure an iSNS server on Windows 2012 R2

iSNS (Internet Storage Name Service) is a protocol that allows automatic discovery, management and configuration of iSCSI devices. In a nutshell, it’s like DNS for iSCSI devices.

It can be useful to speed up client configuration when you have many iSCSI targets.

It’s very easy and quick to set up. Just a few steps and you’ll be ready.

How to enable BitLocker on Windows Server 2012 R2

Thanks to the improvements of virtualization and storage technologies, it’s not difficult to clone a disk. A great advantage for disaster recovery, but also a potential risk for the security of your information.

Microsoft allows to encrypt the disks of a server with a feature named BitLocker. We are going to see how you can enable BitLocker on a physical or virtual server to protect your company from data theft.

How to schedule periodic snapshots of a ZFS volume with FreeNAS

Snapshots make us able to restore older versions of a file with little effort, a true advantage in business environment. Furthermore, they are fast and efficient.

FreeNAS uses the powerful ZFS file system to store your business data and ZFS supports snapshots. Scheduling periodic snapshots is simple and may save your day in case of disaster.

Of course you need to have a FreeNAS device and at least a ZFS volume.