Network and Storage Protocols

CIFS - WideLinks


Hello CIFS Experts,

I am in process of accomplishing a proof of concept of CIFS configuration and data migration services on IBM N series. The case history is as follows.


The customer is aiming to migrate the existing file server data  from 3 node cluster to N series CIFS shares. The file server infrastructure is deployed also the DFS services. Some of the folders links are directly mapped to some share folders and some of the folders are just linked using DFS rules. The customer is also wanting to have DR for CIFS services. The failover should ensure that the CIFS services will resume from DR storage using production IP/FQDN.

Proposed Solution:

We have proposed N series vFiler feature running with AD integrated CIFS services. To address the "DFS link emulation in CIFS" , widelinks are considered to implement. Be noted that the customer environment have very few DFS link translations rules the count is not more than 10.

The vFiler also configured with DR parameter and all volumes are replicating through snapmirror.


The Widelink are not working as expected. Although the widelink rules and configuration has already been tested in a demo environment on a NetApp simulator. But when it comes to run on actual vFiler it was not working at all.

Need your support to have answers of following questions.

1-  What is the best way to simulate DFS kind of rules in NetAapp CIFS. As I understand sofar the widelinks is the answer

2-  Can widelink redirect the user request to another folder (qtree) with in the same volume?

3- Can widelink be used to redirect user request from one share folder to another share folder with in same qtree  or volume?

The procedure details is as follows.

CIFS- WIdelink  Configuration

vfiler2> cifs.symlinks.enable on

1- Create A volume

vfiler2> /vol/cifs_vol

2- Create a Qtree

vfiler2> /vol/cifs_vol/sharex1

Create a share

vfiler2> cifs shares -add vfs /vol/cifs_vol/sharex -widelink   (will act as source)

Create another Qqtree, shares etc.

vfiler2> create qtree /vol/cifs_vol/sharex2

vfiler2> cifs shares -add vfs1 /vol/cifs_vol/sharex2 -widelink (will act as target)

3- On a windows 2003 machine I have created following symlink

C:\> netap_symlink.exe vfiler2 /vol/cifs_vol/sharex/vfs/       /vol/cifs_vol/sharex2/vfs1/widelink

I am able to see a folder named widelink

4- Now I have created a an entry in to symlink.translations

Widelink /vol/vfs_cifs1/sharex2/widelink/*  \\vfiler2\vfs\

After doing all efforts I am unable to browse in to widelink folder.  The widelinks folder is not able to find a mapped storage.

Can any one help to resolve the issue.

Best Regards,




I think your symlink.translations syntax is off.  The 1st argument should me the target of the symlink, and the 2nd should be the share to redirect to.

I'm unfamiliar with the netap_symlink.exe command, but assuming that it is like the unix ln command, it should be netap_symlink.exe <link_to_create> <existing_file_to_link_to>.  So your 1st arg to Widelink should be the second arg to the symlink command.

So your config should be

Widelink /vol/cifs_vol/sharex2/vfs1/widelink \\vfiler2\vfs1

In your examples, I'm not sure where the Widelink template (1st arg)  /vol/vfs_cifs1/sharex2/widelink/* is coming from....

I can't comment on emulating DFS with Widelinks, but the man page says the result path for Widelink can point anywhere, so there shouldn't be any restrictions.

Hope this helps