If you’ve kept your file servers running Windows Server 2003, you probably aren’t fully aware of the options that have become available in more recent versions of the Windows Server operating system.
Some of the more important ones to note include:
- Deduplication. A feature introduced in Windows Server 2012, deduplication is now supported in the operating system. The deduplication method uses chunking, a method by which the operating system identifies and deduplicates collections of identical data blocks. This can lead to substantial storage savings in traditional file server scenarios.
- Dynamic Access Control. Rather than having to set file and folder permissions manually, dynamic access control allows permissions to be set dynamically based on a file or folder’s properties. For example, with dynamic access control, you can automatically set permissions based on keywords contained within a document. For organizations with tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of files, dynamically assigned permissions are substantially more efficient than manually assigning permissions.
- DFS replication. If your organization uses DFS, the replication mechanism that is available in later versions of the operating system is superior to what was available in Windows Server 2003. In Windows Server 2012 R2 this includes improvements in creating database clones for pre-seeding replicas and improved file recovery options.
- File Server Resource Manager. While FSRM was introduced with Windows Server 2003 R2, it’s one of those features that many administrators are simply unaware of. FSRM allows you to apply per-folder hard and soft quotas, perform file management tasks, such as identifying and moving files that haven’t been accessed for a specific amount of time, and the ability to generate reports based on file characteristics including age, size, and frequency of access.