Microsoft Virtualization Discussions

Replacement for VFM? What to manage DFS links with? Powershell?


Hi I'm late to the "I know VFM is end of life" party but I just inherited sole responsibility (as opposed to just managing the links via the GUI). Needless to say we're still using it.  Our national drive is on a filer with 1400 or so links under the main share which in the back-end are two different shares on different volumes.  We probably don't use most functionality it was designed for. We do migrate data based off of past usage from one of those shares to another, but that's not as frequent of a need those are just one-offs typically (and, I could get around that writing my own tool if need be).

What do people manage DFS links with now?  Can we manage these links with PowerShell, and if so is that still outside of NetApp or is there something NetApp specific involved or needed in their Posh toolkit?  Is this all controlled by MSFT tools now? Is NetApp over this, and on to something better?

Also, somewhat unrelated, what is the "Timeout" setting for DFS links intended for? What is the timeout event happening here, when a client can't connect or resolve the link's location?  I am trying to solve some issues related to extremely slow Mac loading times for our DFS folder. It's always been problematic because of the technology... but I'm curious how this setting ever comes into play and if it is of any concern.  If I have a DFS link to folder "foo" but the back-end is gone, will the client wait for a timeout to do something as simple as loading the directory, for instance?   I'm thinking we probably have at least a few stale directories (I think that's what I'm seeing as blue folders) that need to be cleaned up, wondering if any of that will help that though.  On a Mac it's taking 10 minutes+ to just connect the drive as it seems to mount each link. I'm wondering if this timeout could be lowered to have any change. We're finding 3rd party software is still better than the built-in stuff Apple has now included.



This question is a bit old, this is just in case you are still following it or if others are also looking.  I have and continue to use DFM from Stoagex, then from Brocade before Brocade abandoned it.  I really like the tool and have also been on the hunt fro a replacement.  Well  Data Dynamics ( purchased it from Brocade and have assembled some of the old developers to launch it once again.  We will be evaluating it soon.  Hopefully this helps.


This reply is a bit old but somehow stumbled across it -- I had created a PowerShell script that I used in our environment to replace the EOL NetApp VFM / Brocade VFM product. 


Actually, as time went on, we were having huge problems with Mac users. The way the Brocade product assembled DFS links, it creates shortcuts essentially to each folder be it on one tier or the next of storage. A Windows client handles this fine, presents it as a typical share. However, we found Mac systems will attempt to test if each shortcut is valid when presenting the initial folder itself. On a share with 1000 folders we were literally seeing the share take anywhere from 10-30 minutes.


I replaced the same tiered storage by assembling it as one share in the backend using symlinks. It is as fast on a Mac system as any other share now. Performance of filer itself doesn't seem to be impacted. is the script I wrote to automate creating this single share from multiple tiers. You only need to run this after you move folders across tiers, but you can also run it on an ongoing schedule/etc. But, in combination with a file grooming process that moves non-modified folders to secondary storage automatically, you could then run this and have the grooming of non-modified files completely automated as well.