Step 5: Using the file system

Author: Dean Suzuki (Last Updated: 8/23/20)

Abstract

In the prior step, you built a Windows file system using Amazon FSx for Windows File Server. In this step, you will learn how to map a file share to the file system and create new file shares off the file system.

Section 1: Mapping a share to the new Amazon FSx for Windows File Server

You can use the Amazon FSx for Windows File Server file system from Windows and Linux systems that have network connectivity to the file system (e.g. on-premises systems or systems running in AWS). In this lab, we will login to an EC2 Windows server and map a file share to the Amazon FSx for Windows File Server.

To start, you will need an EC2 server. If you haven’t created the management server from Step 3, please follow the steps in the Step 3 > Administering Managed AD to create the management server. Also follow the steps to establish a RDP connection to it as documented in that lab.

  1. When we created the Amazon FSx for Windows File Server, we applied a security group that controls the network access to the file system. We will need to allow access to the file system by the management server. To allow this connection, go to the EC2 portion of the console.

    a. Click Running Instances on the left side.

    b. Select the instance that you created earlier (e.g. AD Management Server - <initials>)

    c. Click on Actions > Networking > Change Security Group.

    d. Select the checkbox for the default VPC security group and select “Assign Security Group”.

  2. By performing this action, you add the server to be part of the security group. If you examine the rules in the security group, you will see that members of the group have full inbound access.

  3. If you closed the AWS console, log in to the AWS Console and go the Amazon FSx console.

  4. Click on the file system (e.g. Projects) that you created in the previous section.

  5. In the Network & security section, copy the DNS name to the clipboard. Please note that the DNS name for your file system will probably be different from the picture.

  6. Log into the management server that we created earlier in Step 3 > Administering Managed AD.

  7. Open the file explorer window and paste the DNS name in the search bar. Then add two slashes before the DNS name. Press Enter. You should see the default file system share called Share.

  8. Right-click the Share and on the popup menu, select Map network drive. Accept the defaults and press Finish. By default, Amazon FSx for Windows File Server creates a share called share that you can use to get started.

  9. Notice that you can use the Amazon FSx for Windows File System just like an on-premises file server. Create a text file on the share. By right-clicking in the new windows and select New > Text Document. Name the file test.txt.

Congratulations!

You learned how to map a share to the Amazon FSx for Windows File Server file systems and experience that it operates as a Windows file system.

Section 2: Creating a new file share on the file system

In the previous lab, you used the default share called Share. In this lab, you will walkthrough creating a new share on the file system.

  1. On the Windows management server, click the Windows icon and type fsmgmt.msc and press enter. This will open the Shared Folders tool.
  2. In the Shared Folders tool, right-click Shared Folders and select Connect to another computer.
  3. In the popup menu, select Another computer and paste the DNS name of the Amazon FSx file system that you copied earlier. You may need to go back to the FSx Console and copy the DNS name again to clipboard or if you still have the Windows explorer window open where you pasted it, then you can copy it from there. Press Ok.
  4. Notice that you are now connecting to the Amazon FSx for Windows File Server file system. Double-click on Shares. Notice the existing shares that have been created. The shares ending with \$ are hidden shares.
  5. Right-click the Shares folder and select New Share.
  6. In the New Share wizard,

    a. On the Welcome screen, press Next.

    b. On the Folder Path screen, click the Browse button.

    c. On the Browse for Folder screen, select d$ and click the Make New Folder button.

  7. Name the new folder, Projects and press OK.

  8. Back on the Folder Path screen, press Next.

  9. On the Name, Description, and Settings screen, click Next.

  10. On the Shared Folder Permissions page, select Administrators have full access; other users have read-only access. Then, press Finish.

  11. Open a Windows Explorer windows, paste the Amazon FSx for Windows File Server file system’s DNS name into the search bar, add two forward slashes (\\) and press enter. You should see the new share on the screen. Practice creating a file on the new share.

  12. Go back to the Shared Folders tool. Notice that there is a Sessions folder and an Open Files folder. These areas allow you to see the open sessions on the file system as well as open files.

Congratulations!

In this step, you learned how to map a file share to the Amazon FSx file system and create additional file shares off the file system.

In recap in this lab, you learned:

  • How to map a drive to a Windows file share hosted on Amazon FSx for Windows File Server

  • How to use the File Share Management tool (fsmgmt.msc) to:

    • Create new file shares

    • View open sessions

    • View existing file shares

Please note that Amazon FSx for Windows File Server can also integrate with Microsoft Distributed File System (DFS). See (here) for more information.