How to configure DFS to use fully qualified domain names in referrals

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Article ID: 244380 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q244380
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Summary

By default, a Microsoft Distributed File System Namespace (DFSN) root referral reply to a DFS root referral query is in NetBIOS name format (\\<Server>\<Share>). This is necessary in certain environments that rely on NetBIOS and makes it possible for clients that support NetBIOS-only name resolution to locate and connect to targets in the DFS namespace. By default, Windows clients work fine with this.

However, some clients do not use NetBIOS. Two examples are clients that are not running Windows and clients that operate in an environment without WINS or that use DNS name suffixes. Those clients are incompatible with the default DFSN behavior.

In these cases, the client may be unable to resolve the server name that is returned from the root referral query. However, this problem can be addressed easily, because DFSN can be configured to operate in a DNS-only environment. This article describes how to configure a DFSN server to operate in that environment.

Note For namespace servers that are hosting only stand-alone namespaces, some steps that are described in this article are unnecessary. (Such namespace servers include clustered namespaces.) By default, DFSN clients can access such stand-alone namespaces through either \\<Server-NetBIOS>\<Namespace> or \\<Server-FQDN>\<Namespace> namespace paths. However, namespace server configuration is still required for stand-alone namespaces in order to provide correct referrals.

The steps that are described in this article apply to all DFS namespace servers, regardless of whether such namespace servers also act as Active Directory domain controllers.

More information

The overall approach consists of the following four stages:
  1. Configure a DNS suffix for resolution of qualified names on the client.
  2. Verify DNS records of file server targets, and create host records as required.
  3. Configure the DFSN server to respond by using FQDN referrals for root targets.
  4. If it is required, update the namespace metadata for each folder target so that the folder referrals use appropriate FQDN names for folder targets.

Steps for stage 3: Configure the DFSN server to respond by using FQDN referrals for root targets

Note Before you continue with the following steps for stage 3, we recommend that you back up the namespace metadata to guard against unexpected failures or accidents. The backup steps, together with the other restore steps if you ever need them, are covered in steps A and C of the "Steps for stage 4" section.

Note The DFSN Windows PowerShell cmdlets that are mentioned in this section are available only starting with Windows Server 2012 or Windows 8.
  1. Obtain the list of domain-based namespaces that are hosted on the server. To do this, use one of the following methods: 
    • Get-DfsnRoot -ComputerName <ServerName> |Where type -NotMatch "Standalone" 
    • dfsutil.exe server <ServerName> and manually identify the domain-based namespaces
    Note If there are no domain-based namespaces that are hosted on this namespace server, you do not have to follow some steps in this article.
  2. Note You can skip the following step for namespace servers that host only stand-alone namespaces.

    Generally, domain-based namespaces are hosted on multiple namespace servers. Therefore, when you remove the namespace from one namespace server, as you do in this step, namespace availability is not affected. However, you should make sure that there is in fact more than one namespace server that is hosting your namespace. To do this, use one of the following methods:
    • (Get-DfsnRootTarget –Path <Namespace>).Count 
    • dfsutil.exe root <Namespace> 
    For example, the placeholder <Namespace> could represent the following:
    \\contoso.com\DomainNamespace
    If you confirm that there are multiple namespace servers hosting your namespace, you can skip step C that follows. 
  3. Note You can skip the following step for namespace servers that host only stand-alone namespaces. You can also skip this step if you confirm that there are multiple namespace servers that are hosting your namespace.

    If there is only one namespace server for your namespace, you should temporarily add a new namespace server before you remove the existing server. (See Add Namespace Servers to a Domain-based DFS Namespace or New-DfsnRootTarget cmdlet.) Or, you must save the namespace metadata for a re-creation later. (To do this, see steps A and C of the "Steps for stage 4" section.) However, you should be aware that the second approach will cause a transient downtime for the namespace.
  4. Note You can skip the following step for namespace servers that host only stand-alone namespaces.

    Remove each hosted domain-based namespace from the server. To do this, use one of the following methods:
    • Remove-DfsnRootTarget –TargetPath <NamespaceRootTarget>
    • dfsutil.exe target Remove <NamespaceRootTarget> 
      For example, the placeholder <NamespaceRootTarget> could represent the following:  \\Contoso-FS.contoso.com\AccountingSoftware
  5. Enable the DFSN FQDN root referral behavior. To do this, use one of the following methods:
    • Set-DfsnServerConfiguration –ComputerName <ServerName> –UseFqdn $true 
    • Dfsutil.exe server registry dfsdnsconfig set <ServerName> 
  6. Restart the DFSN service. To do this, use one of the following methods:
    • Stop-Service dfs; Start-Service dfs 
    • Net stop dfs; Net start dfs 
  7. Note You can skip the following step for namespace servers that are hosting only stand-alone namespaces.

    Restore each namespace that you previously removed from this namespace server. To do this, use one of the following methods:
    • New-DfsnRootTarget – TargetPath <RootTarget> [-Path <Namespace>] 
    • Dfsutil target add \\<RootTarget> 
  8. Depending on what you did in step B, follow these optional steps:
    1. If you took a backup of your namespace metadata in step B, you can import the metadata into the namespace that you just re-created. Before you import the metadata, you can also make any necessary adjustments as part of the same step. (See the "Steps for stage 4" section.)
    2. If you temporarily added a namespace server in step B, you may remove it now.

Steps for stage 4: Update the namespace metadata for each folder target so that the metadata uses appropriate FQDN names



Follow these steps for each namespace that is hosted on the namespace server: 
  1. Export the namespace metadata:

    dfsutil.exe root export \\contoso.com\<DomainNamespace1> C:\dir1\a.txt 
  2. Make any necessary FQDN-related adjustments to folder targets. For each "Target" XML element that is contained in a "Link" XML element, change its NetBIOS reference to its equivalent FQDN reference.

    For example, before the update, the element is as follows:

    <Target State="ONLINE" >\\FileServer-NetBIOS\Share1</Target>
    After the update, the element is as follows:

    <Target State="ONLINE" >\\FileServer-FQDN\Share1</Target>
  3. Import the updated namespace metadata:

    dfsutil.exe root import set C:\dir1\a.txt \\contoso.com\<DomainNamespace1>

References

For more information about related topics, go to the following websites:

Properties

Article ID: 244380 - Last Review: October 17, 2013 - Revision: 13.0
Applies to
  • Windows Server 2012 Datacenter
  • Windows Server 2012 Standard
  • Windows Server 2012 Essentials
  • Windows Server 2012 Foundation
  • Windows Server 2008 Datacenter without Hyper-V
  • Windows Server 2008 Enterprise without Hyper-V
  • Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-Based Systems
  • Windows Server 2008 Standard without Hyper-V
  • Windows Server 2008 Datacenter
  • Windows Server 2008 Enterprise
  • Windows Server 2008 Standard
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Foundation
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard
Keywords: 
kbenv kbhowto kbnetwork KB244380

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