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Server 2008 as File server

Posted on 2008-06-10
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I am replacing and old 2003 File Server getting old and running out of disk space. My network is all 2003 Server and XP. I am configuring a new server and am wondering if going with Server 2008 is a good choice for this right now. I have installed and played with 2008 through its beta steps but have not put one into production. I am looking for someone to help me answer the question of 2003 or 2008. The only function it will perform, at least for awhile will be File Server. Seems safe to me, but looking for experienced opinions.
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Question by:Mastrix56
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tigermatt earned 125 total points
ID: 21752803
I've got a Server 2008 machine running as a file and print server, and also one which is a Domain Controller in a Server 2003 domain. Once you've got past the initial set-up and configuration, so far I have not had many problems with using Server 2008 as opposed to Server 2003 for these purposes.

What you have to think about when ever you purchase anything is how long it will last for the business? Buying Server 2008 now will keep at least that server running for probably at least the next 5 years without ever needing to think about upgrading the OS to the latest version. Server 2003 however, will be outdated a lot quicker, and while it may still be supported, you will start to find in the next few years that everything will be aimed at the Server 2008 market - getting it now will probably save you a lot of money in the future, provided you are happy that it performs the functions you need.

I would use a test lab if you want total satisfaction to ensure you can do everything you need to do - including installing the correct programs - to your Server 2008 machine, before committing yourself to a purchase.

-tigermatt
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by:patrickfromsc
patrickfromsc earned 125 total points
ID: 21752982
Likewise, I support a handful of 2008 servers.  Like you, I am only using these as file servers at the moment, since most software vendors haven't yet migrated their products to 2008.  Setting this up along side of an existing 2003 server is trivial, and will allow you to use the existing AD accounts for any share and NTFS permissions.  If you make it an AD controller, make sure to make it a Global Catalog server as well.

Additionally, if you start using DFS share names instead of \\servername\sharename, you will seemlessly be able to migrate shares from one server to the other.  Create the DFS shares on the new server, and change your login scripts to map there instead.  So instead of "net use P: \\server1\public", you'll use something like "net use P: \\domain.local\dfs\public".  You can set this up now, where dfs\public resolves to the existing 2003 shares, and just change it in DFS after sync'ing the contents when you are ready.

Regards,
PfSC
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by:santhoshu
ID: 21777762
I agree with both the comments and I would encourge you to go on for the Windows 2008 server.  To start with using it as a file server is the best bet, Once you become more familiar with 2008, you can slowly migrate your forest (if you want to do so) to windows 2008.  I use the 2008 server widely and it works awesome.
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by:IDEASIT
ID: 22215894
Be careful and test it thoroughly before you implement it. As i have installed and my life file server is on windows 2008 ent 64 bit. I am facing a wierd problem if any one can help me it will be gr8.
Its like when clients try to connect it some of them are able to connect and some are not atall. It happens random to any user. Some users connect it well and some absolutely not. Do you have any solution for this?
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by:santhoshu
ID: 22216079
As this question is closed, it is better you open a new question and we can discuss it there.
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by:tigermatt
ID: 22220648
Experts Exchange is not a typical forum whereby it is possible to "bump" questions to the top of the list or get new Expert interest. The community revolves around people assigning points for their questions, experts answering the questions and then expert comments receiving points for that solution.

Since this is not your question and in any event the question is already closed, you should open a new question as has been suggested, and ask about your problem there. All the experts on the site will then have the chance to comment if they wish, and help you to see your problem through to a conclusion.

Thanks!

-tigermatt
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