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HowTo: Migrate Data before replacing a Server (min. 2003 R2)

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If you want to replace a server which holds file shares like homes or profiles you have to find a way to move them to the new server without taking ownership of these folders.

If you are running Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2 or above, there is an easy way to realise this. (Server 2003 does not include the needed Replication service). It is called Distributed File System.

Prepare the old Server:

-Click start and open "Manage Your Server"
You can find a section called "File Server"

-Click Upgrade this role
The upcoming wizard shows all possible components to add.

-Select Replicate data to and from this server (Installs DFS Replication Service)
And click next.

The wizard will now install the Distributed File Service Replication on this server. If it will ask for the R2 components, insert Windows Server 2003 R2 CD2. After installation completed, reboot the server.

On the new Server 2008 R2 server

- Open Server Manager
- Click Add Role and select File Services
- Check Distributed File System and install the role.
- Reboot the Server.

(If you already installed File Service role, choose Add Role Service and check Distributed File System)

Navigate to Start-Administrative Tools-DFS Management

-Rightclick Replication and choose New Replication Group

-Check Multipurpose replication group (should be checkt by default) and click Next

-Type a Name for the replication group. (It  doesn't matter it's only for you to recognize it)

-Click Add and select the first server (it does'n matter which one you take first)

-Click Add and select the second server.

-Click Next

-Select Full mesh and click Next.

-If you want to replicate data with full bandwith you cann click next otherwise (for example preparing the server in main office for a branch) choose Replicate during specified days and times and click Edit Schedule. (You can replicate with full bandwith during  the night and for example with 512kb during working period)

-Select as the Primary member the old server.

-Click Add - Browse and select the folder you want to replicate and click Next.

-Click Edit and check Enabled. Click Browse and select the Path where you want the new files.

-Click Create and you're done!

It will take some time to initiate the replication.

-After comleting replication, delete the Replication group by rightclicking the group and choose Delete.

-Check Yes, delete the replication group, stop replicating all associated replicated folders, and delete all members of the replication group.
(It will only delete the Replication service, no Data from the Shares!)

Please read the instructions carefully before you begin and make sure you understand.

For further reading, look at : http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc753479(v=ws.10).aspx and for a more general overview check the topics in : http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc770278(v=ws.10).aspx

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