To make it easy to locate data even when it moves, Distributed File Services preserves the logical file organization by maintaining a Volume Location Database (VLDB) for all volumes. When you move a Storage Services (NSS) volume to a new volume in a different pool, the VLDB helps redirect queries to the new location so users and applications can always find their files, even when directories change.
You can also split an NSS volume to relocate a directory's data to a newly created NSS volume. Distributed File Services places a junction file at the source location in place of the old directory. The junction contains a hint about the new location of the data. When users attempt to access the data, Distributed File Services looks up the location of the destination volume in the VLDB, and then automatically and transparently redirects the queries to let users get their data.
Using junctions and the VLDB eliminates the user's need to know the path to the physical location of the data. It also decreases administration costs. When you need to move a volume to a different server, you don't need to make any announcements, reeducate users, or field help calls about it for the next six months. You and your users can continue to use the logical paths you're used to when mapping network drives or creating login scripts. The physical location of data can change over time, and that change is completely transparent to the end user.
Distributed File Services also simplifies the number of paths a user needs to remember if the data is spread among different volumes or servers. For example, if a user's data is located on servers X, Y, and Z, you can create junctions on server X that point to all of that user's data on servers Y and Z. That way, users only need to remember the path to server X, because with junctions, it appears as if the data is all located in one place.
Additionally, Distributed File Services can address difficulties in backing up that is distributed over many volumes, or on too large of volumes. It allows large volumes to be split into two (or more) volumes, and the resulting volumes backed up separately as required. You can split a volume at any directory to a new NSS volume without changing the logical path to files.
Distributed File Services can also provide a migration path for customers moving NSS volumes from NetWare® to Open Enterprise Server on Linux. You can stay flexible and migrate at your own pace, and even move data from the NetWare servers to Open Enterprise Server on Linux without committing to a full-scale change to an Open Enterprise Server on Linux environment.