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I'd like to be able to advertise shares to the network that are in some sense virtual, in that they don't correspond directly to physical folders on a filesystem.

The application would be to offer a share based on location, and another based on department, all from the same physical filesystem.

For example:

//fileserver/location_share/london/dept1
//fileserver/location_share/london/dept2
//fileserver/location_share/london/dept3

or

//fileserver/dept_share/dept1/london
//fileserver/dept_share/dept1/paris
//fileserver/dept_share/dept1/berlin

To set this up, I'd create a share name and then choose the folders I want to be visible through that share.

I've looked at DFS but I'm not sure if it can do this.

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The syntax of the paths and the mention of DFS suggest this question deals with Windows shares exported from a server that also is running Windows? –  rackandboneman May 17 '12 at 16:46
    
@rackandboneman: The question is about funtionality rather than a specific platform. The forward-slash path format is from Unix but is not central to the question. –  Andrew H May 17 '12 at 17:26
    
What server, clients, and file-sharing protocol(s) that you intend to use are, indeed, very central to the question. –  mfinni May 17 '12 at 17:34
    
@mfinni: the question is about whether there is a file-serving technology that does what I'm asking, regardless of client, server, or network protocol. –  Andrew H May 18 '12 at 5:08
    
I suppose the question is coming more from an architect point of view - if there is any file server tech that acts like this I'd simply like to know about it, I don't need guidance on setting something up. –  Andrew H May 18 '12 at 5:15
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2 Answers

DFS is exactly what you want, assuming this is an Active Directory network. We a have very similar structure in my company.

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Can you expand on how this works with DFS please? –  Andrew H May 17 '12 at 17:19
    
DFS uses something called namespaces. You can define as many namespaces as you want with the same real path in place. –  Marcus_33 May 17 '12 at 19:32
    
AFAIK namespaces contain shares don't they? I suppose if namespaces could contain arbitrary folders that would be what I'm after. Is that the case? –  Andrew H May 18 '12 at 5:10
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NTFS supports "symbolic links" and "junction points"; the details should be in the documentation for the "mklink" command.

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Can you expand on how this addresses the question please? I'm not sure how I would do this with junction points. –  Andrew H May 17 '12 at 17:19
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