Let's say I have one large file server that has a company-wide share. That file server constantly runs into space issues. Now let's say I have a dozen or so random servers (print servers, web servers, etc) that have a ton of free space. Is there a way to utilize that in the company-wide file share? Like spanning the storage across different servers but making that transparent to the user?

I know the likely answer is going to be get more storage for the file server, but I just curious if this is conceptually possible.



The answer to this maybe Distributed File System http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distributed_File_System_%28Microsoft%29 .


Yes, you can. Probably DFS will do it on Windows.

Check http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distributed_File_System_%28Microsoft%29 .


Yes, you could use DFS for Windows or one of the variety of clustered/distributed file systems for Linux such as Lustre but you don't mention what OS you're using. Come back with more detail and we'll be able to help more.

  • Either/or. I was just wondering if it's possible. Thanks for the info. – Mike Cole Feb 15 '11 at 15:09

Yes, there are lots of file systems that will support this across a range of platforms, the term you're looking for is Distributed file system (DFS).

Since you don't specify any system in particular I'll give you the link to the Wikipedia article - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distributed_file_system and let you decide which fits, or post another question later.


Wow - I got schooled. I never knew that you could do one without the other. Please ignore answer below. Leaving it up as an example of what not to do.

I believe that the answers referencing DFS won't help you. It will make a file share exist on multiple servers (and provide a single namespace for it as well), but it also replicates the entire contents to each server that hosts that share. I don't believe there's any way to partition it. It seems that you're asking (for example) if you can use 10 GB on your web server and 5 GB on your print server to make a 15 GB share. Using DFS, you would only have a 5 GB share on two servers.

If I'm misunderstanding your scenario, please edit your question to address these details.

  • 2
    You can do namespaces without replication. – MDMarra Feb 15 '11 at 15:15

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