Overview of DFS

Advantages of file sharing

In a file sharing environment, a large number of users can access a program as though it were on their local machines, when actually the program resides on a single file server. This is a great benefit to small workstations, where disk space is at a premium. A user can have access to a much larger program repertoire than could fit on a private disk.

By having a resource reside physically on a single server, then distributed throughout the network, you can greatly simplify administration. First, you reduce the number of copies of various programs that need to be maintained on the network. Second, you reduce the problems involved in performing backups for a number of machines dispersed over a wide geographical area. By keeping files in a single location, this task becomes comparable to backing up a single machine.

Centralizing files on a few file servers not only simplifies administration, it helps maintain consistency of shared data files. When changes are made to a shared file, they become available to all users immediately.

As an alternative to centralizing files on a few file servers, files may be shared. When a single computer runs out of capacity, more computers can be added to a configuration. Files can be moved to the new computers, while a consistent view of the file system from the user's perspective is maintained.

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UnixWare 7 Release 7.1.4 - 22 April 2004