Perhaps the most common Windows Server role is that of the humble file server. The need for colleagues to have a central location to share files was part of the impetus for the development of Ethernet at Xerox PARC
If you haven’t started migrating, it’s likely that on a per-server basis, you’ll have more file servers running Windows Server 2003 than any other workload. Unlike other workloads, there are likely to be file servers at each of your organizations sites. This means that your migration plan will need to take into account how you are going to deal with workloads hosted at remote locations.
When triaging file server workloads, consider the following:
- Is the file server part of a DFS deployment, or is it a stand-alone file server?
- Does the file server just host documents, or is it used to host workloads such as user profiles and home folders?
- How are share permissions configured?
- How are permissions configured at the folder and file level?
- Are NTFS or File Server Resource Manager quotas in place?
- Are file screens in place?
- Will it be simpler to migrate while retaining the server name, or is a new file server name OK?
- Should you keep using file servers for documents, or is it time to migrate to a solution like SharePoint?
- Do the file servers host derelict data that no longer needs to be stored on the file server?
If a file server has been in place for some time, it’s likely, unless you do some regular spring cleaning, that it will be hosting files that haven’t been needed by users for months or years. You might find that instead of having to migrate gigabytes of files to a new location, you may only need to move a couple of hundred megabytes.
In future posts I’ll cover more about migrating file servers from Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2012 R2.