Need network storage to seek multiple pc file copies and store in 1 location

Posted on 2007-08-06
Last Modified: 2013-11-14

I need to find some network storage (software/hardware/both) that will be able to scan our network (700+ desktops) , move all documents / images etc to a SAN (removing all duplicates) but allow the users to simply work as usual thinking everything is still stored on their pc.

Versioning would also be nice

Any ideas where to jump this off from? for info I'm a developer not a network guy so be gentle!

Question by:NeilT
    LVL 14

    Expert Comment

    by:Hedley Phillips
    A simple idea would be to redirect folders on the clients.

    So if they save to my documents or other areas, the files are stored ont he server but linked via a, what I would call symbolic link.

    This is all done through GPO.

    We have just implemented this and it is working a treat.
    LVL 18

    Expert Comment

    I've never heard of anything like you are describing, what is the goal of this project?
    LVL 3

    Author Comment

    Hi Chuckyh

    I work for a company where (as I'm sure everywhere) people see the need to download everything from the internet / intranet and save it locally, this can end up with over 600 people having the same, and similar documents.

    We already have a shared drive that people "should" save to which is mapped through their profile to a SAN (i think) but this does not stop every one of the 600+ employees saving their own copy of a document (rather than 600+ linking to 1 document, but feeling they actually have it themselves on their pc)

    We keep increasing storage but want to limit the costs as as fast as we plug more in, people save more and more.

    Hope that makes a bit more sence
    LVL 3

    Author Comment

    What is GPO please?
    LVL 14

    Accepted Solution


    GPO is Group Policy Object, part of Active Directory. Allows you to make domain wide (or smaller) changes to the way users or computers behave.

    Have a look here: in conjunction with Folder redirection at:

    One way I got our users to stop saving to their own PC was to point out that they are not backed up and if their machine dies they lose everything. Works a treat. Esp after one or two users have lost everything when their PC died (cough)

    We also use roaming profiles along with the folder redirection so any user can work on any PC and still have access to their docs as though they were stored locally.

    Another idea would be to write your own script to search through each machines administrative share i.e. \\PC_Name\C$ and move the files yourself to a central area. Or delete them if you have warned the users already. Harsh, but it gets the job done. :-)

    Also, what about setting disk quotas? Set a specific amount of disk space per user and don't let them go over this?
    LVL 55

    Assisted Solution

    Symantec Enterprise Vault file system archiving might do the job, scans file servers and archives files based on rules, it uses a MD5 hash to see if two files are the same and just creates a pointer for anything that has the same hash. It's really a product to put on the file servers though, you could archive selected filetypes from all users home directories for example after moving all the users my docs folders with GPO as Mr-Madcowz suggested. I suppose you could install the agent on a workstation but there might be licensing problems with that.
    LVL 3

    Author Comment

    many thanks, lots of reading ahead


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