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Is it possible to connect two servers running for example Windows Server 2003/2008 together. For example they are seen on the network as one server with the combination of all HDD from each server?

Example:

\\Server1 - 1 x 1tb hdd
\\Server2 - 1 x 1tb hdd

I would like users of the network to be able to store their documents on both servers for load balancing. So basically a RAID between the two servers?

Any help would be appreciated.

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Is one, or more, of these a virtual machine? You question is vague, and lacking details. Would you please edit to include more information about what you want to achieve? –  jscott Jun 13 '12 at 0:57
    
Edited.......... –  Chris Jun 13 '12 at 1:05
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So are you looking for something like a distributed file system? –  jscott Jun 13 '12 at 1:05
    
Yes, in other words, a server cluster. –  Chris Jun 13 '12 at 1:08
    
"Server cluster" is meaningless. Did you mean a FILE STORAGE CLUSTER? –  Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Jun 13 '12 at 1:18
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1 Answer

up vote 7 down vote accepted

If you are using a domain, you can use DFS (distributed file system) to virtualize the namespace and make all the resources appear they come from one server. With DFS you can present shares \\server1\share1 and \\server2\share2 as \\domainname\share1 and \\domainname\share2.
There are many features available when you do this.

  • two shares can service the same files from different locations
  • you can maintain a redundant copy of a share
  • you can move share from one server to another without changing names

More here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc753479(v=ws.10).aspx

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Thank you for the reply. DFS is an option however how is it that organisations such as Facebook, Google etc combine their HDD space instead of just using DFS to just create namespaces for shares? –  Chris Jun 13 '12 at 3:27
    
Why do you believe that's what they are doing? Those apps are data-base driven apps with the database partitioned over many machines and the so-called "combination" of HDD space is a artifact of the application design. There are other methods besides DFS, but for windows shares, that one is straight forward to implement. –  uSlackr Jun 13 '12 at 12:34
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Google has a custom file system called Big Table that was designed internally by some of the world's top engineers at millions of R&D dollars. They also don't run Windows on their servers. Trying to make your two windows boxes behave like Google's multi-billion dollar custom designed setup is ludicrous. –  MDMarra Jun 19 '12 at 21:07
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Basically, if you have to ask how a company like Facebook or Google distributes their massively parallel custom workload, then you're not in a position to do it yourself. You have two servers. Keep it simple. Use DFS, that's what it was designed for. –  MDMarra Jun 19 '12 at 21:08
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