What Is a Distributed File System or DFS?


Quick Answer

A distributed file system is an application that allows a user to access and modify files on a server as if the files were on the user's computer. The application is typically meant to replicate the behavior of files stored on the computer, making it nearly invisible.

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Full Answer

Distributed file systems are commonly used by companies that exist in multiple locations. Using the system allows users with the appropriate permissions to access and modify files on a computer without having to dedicate space on their machine to saving the files. Additionally, users in different time zones do not lose time trying to contact team members in different locations for updated versions of the files, because the files are always saved to the server location.

The most valuable use of distributed file systems is for personal users within a company. By giving the user a dedicated amount of space to store their work on the network, the company protects her work in the event her computer is stolen, damaged or otherwise becomes unusable. Because the application is meant to replicate the typical function of her machine, the company does not have to teach her how to use a new program to access common files.

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