How to Create a Virtual File System: Creating an Enterprise Catalog Based VFS, BriForum 2007

Scenario One: What if you could virtualize your entire company's data view?

This is a video of a breakout session from BriForum 2007, presented by Michael Thomason.

Session Description: Scenario One: What if you could virtualize your entire company’s data view? What if instead of going to \\SERVER\DATA users could simply go to one place, \\ACME\USERS\JOE, for example, and see all data they have access to? Joe might see ‘Finance’ which links him to a FINANCE share on a Linux server and a COMMON folder which is for all employees in the company which links him to a Microsoft file server. Joe only has to learn how to navigate to his “namespace” in order to see all data he has access to in the organization.

Scenario Two: In applications we embed links such as \\SERVER\DATA\spreadsheet.xls, or develop scripts which rely on coded UNC paths. What happens when \\SERVER is replaced by \\NEWSERVER? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a DNS for file systems? What if this “view” could be completely virtualized? What if we could simply update a common “pointer” on the backend to point to \\NEWSERVER?

Scenario Three: Suppose Joe decides to leave Acme. Security disables his account and he immediately loses access to his namespace instanteously!

VFS (Virtual File System), using Microsoft DFS, allows administrators to create virtual namespaces. In essence it allows administrators to create a DNS for file systems of sorts. The benefits are extremely powerful:

  • No more hard-coding physical server names.
  • Ability to move data around from one location to another without impacting users.
  • Eases data migrations and conversions.
  • Users only see data they have access to without a need to use Windows access-based enumeration (ABE).

In this session, you will learn to:

  • Create and manage these back-end DFS namespaces
  • Configure DFS to handle millions of “links”
  • Automate link creation/deletion
  • Backup/recovery of namespaces

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