Standard vs Distributed shares

  • 12 August 2021
  • 1 reply

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I read the Supports and Insights page.

“A distributed share or export is the repository for the personal files of a user, and a standard share is the repository shared by a group.  A distributed share or export is distributed at the top-level directories while standard shares are on a single file server VM (FSVM).”

Does that mean if I create a standard share called “Shared” for 100 users, all 100 users would be hitting a single FSVM for access?

Why wouldn’t I want to create “Share” as distributed in order to spread the load?

Our first Files setup has D$ as the only top level share as distributed.  Other shares are below it and set as standard.  Any issues with that?  Not sure why we did this, or if we fully understood.  At least the D$ with shares underneath mimic a Windows file server.


Best answer by DavidN 12 August 2021, 21:50

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A few years back when we first setup our first Files cluster (and File Analytics) there were some differences in terms of what capabilities & features Standard / Distributed Share could support.

Since then, much improvements/feature parity has been done to eliminate/improve these…

Regardless of my notes, please review the Files and Files Analytics documentation & release notes to confirm my statements.

(i.e. these notes/statements may be dated but were valid at one point):

Distributed shares

  • Could NOT have any files in the root of the share
  • MMC.exe could NOT be used to manage it (must use Nutanix Files Snap-In)
  • Nested Shares were supported
  • Files Analytics wouldn’t collect stats for sub-shares - I believe with the newest Files Analytics this is now supported (double check it pls)
  • From my own testing the Default permissions are
    Domain Admins: Full Control
    Domain users: Read Only (Standard share would set this to “Full access”
    Creator Owner: Full Control
  • Encryption as of Files 3.5
  • Couldn’t create Folders with Explorer in the top level of the share (May have be available with newer Files as of 3.5+)

Standard shares

  • Can’t be converted to a Distributed share
  • Can have files in the root of the share
  • Use both mmc.exe (shared folders plugin) AND Nutanix Files plugin to be managed
  • Encryption as of Files 3.5
  • Can’t have nested shares