transferring data between servers

boofulls used Ask the Experts™
more an advice question than anything

we have two servers withing the walls of our offices and im thinking that one maybe be redundant

one of the is an nt server, quite old (about 6 years) and filling up rapidly, it has about 1 gb free space and 5 gb taken up (we're not a massive company =) )

clients use this machine mainly to access a shared directory (for word files and images) and also a few people use a program which has a data directory there

the newer machine is a mail server
full of space and only a few months old

now i was thinking that maybe we could move the data directory (that is associated with the program) to the mail server (the new machine) and see how that works

all the clients machines can see both servers so im just wondering if there is much point in having the two servers

so thats my 1) first question would there be any foreseeable complications moving the data over to the new server and setting the clients machines to see that data

also 2) currently the old server has a tape system on it to do back ups, would it be ok point the tape to backup the data on the new server? would there be any complications there?

any advice appreciated
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Firstly, you dont mention the OS?
Secondly, do the users login to a domain? If so, is the old server a Domain controller. This would be an issue!

However, Copying data to the new machine wouldn't be a problem, If you use mapped drives, just point the mapping to the new box. you could create a share with the same name on the new box.
Backing up accross the Network is quite normal! The only potential issues are network traffic (Do backups overnight) and sometimes machines not being present. I.E switched off. Apart from that, give it a go.



1) both machines are using nt server
2) the older machines uses "user manager for domains" so this does validate logins etc

the only thing i really want to do is copy the shared directory from the old one server to the new server, i wont be messing around with login programs and things like that

No problems at all then...
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I think that it may be wise to do some performance monitoring of the old and new servers to get an idea of the workload that you may be imposing on the new server if you decide to combine the functions.  The mail server can get quite busy depending upon the number of users.  CPU and memory stats may become within a range that you don't want to combine functionality.  

Generally file servers don't use much in the way of CPU and memory unless that data directory that you talk about is large and files are open on the server.  You may want to look at how much that server is paging.  This may eat up RAM and cause extensive Disk I/O, which a mail server will exacerbate.

Once you have a baseline of what the two servers are doing, you will have a pretty good idea about what to expect when combining the functionality and can make a better decision at that time.

Ocon, I agree wholeheartedly but, "(we're not a massive company =)" and the fact that there are two servers in the builing , one of which has a 6Gb disk implies a small office with little load comparatively speaking. Sharing files is not a major contributor to load in 'normal' use. There is a danger of overcomplicating matters...
XstaticX, Assume - ASS-U-ME  Bad bad boy!  Never assume anything.  Good management practice should never be circumvented especially when you have the time to do things right. (Note the operative word - should!)  

I don't disagree with you, but I've been bit so many times where the sun don't shine that I try and do things right when possible.  (Note the operative phrase - when possible!)

Can this new server handle 5 gig worth of file services and mail for 40 or so users?  Probably without a problem, but what else are you bringing into the picture?  Single point of failure comes to mind.  

I also don't think that it's a good idea to backup across the wire.  What is your connectivity here?  The wire can be really slow depending upon the amount of data and the available bandwidth.  But it can be done.  

Ah, never a day goes by... Indeed, We all strive for perfection but, so little time, so much to do...
Just another note. If you are running Exchange for your mail, (memory HOG), you will want to adjust the memory settings to reflect the amount of memory needed for your new application store on the new server. I've been bit by Exchange/SQL so many times, because they want ALL of the memory, and they don't like to share...
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