Migration to NAS

The-Toona used Ask the Experts™
We currently store user data, shared applications and other public files on a DFS that sits on our network, currently hosted on two Domain Controllers, although not replicated between the two. This means the front-end GUI (windows explorer) would pull files from both servers to display them in a common environment where users can extract the necessary files.
Since our Domain Controllers performing so many roles, we would like to migrate data from the DFS to a newly purchased and installed NAS device.
I would like to query the online community to decipher the best method for doing so. We have considered creating a replication group that would copy all data from the DFS to the NAS device. Once replication is complete, we would cut all users over to the NAS device. However we are wary of the affect this would have on open data that users may be editing on the DFS while the cut-over is in progress. We thought the best way to accomplish this would be to decide on a window in which users would only store data locally if they happen to be working on any of their files saved to the DFS.
We have also considered creating a script that would perform this feat for us, however I fear that we would run into the same issues with the cutover.

Can anyone suggest a clean method by which we can cut over to the NAS device from our DFS?
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Do you have the luxury of shutting down for a weekend and doing the copy with everyone logged out?  How much data?

We resolved a similar problem by using robocopy over a weekend - robocopy can also cope with open files and will synchronise the two file systems.


We have a very narrow window on the weekend in which we can do the cut, therefore we will have to coordinate at time with our users. I'm not so much worried about the data being copied over, since the replication group should be able to copy everything even if a user is editing data at the time... my concern is the cut-over when we point the file shares in the direction of the NAS rather than at the DFS location. This will require coordination with users.
Good suggestion on the robocopy... I have done some research in to that product. Has your org purchased a version of robocopy outright, or did you have to purchase the windows 7 resource kit? Is there a free version of robocopy out there somewhere?

Another option is to continue to use the DFS, but have it point only to the NAS. This will mean you don't have to change anything for the users. Setup your DFS shares to point to the currents locations plus the NAS. Once all the data has completely replicated from the current shares to the NAS, change the DFS to only point to the NAS. I realize that the DCs will still have to manage the DFS, but they won't be serving up the files any more.

Hope this helps.
can-t you add the NAS to the DFS ?

if so, you probably can access files on each DC directly and copy them to the NAS quite transparently for your users
let windows handle the locks, and the script move to the next file when one is locked
and run the script as many times as it takes to copy everything
note : this will not work on all dfs setups

alternatively, you probably can setup DFS replication from each DC to the NAS
let them take as many days or weeks as it takes to be up to date, and use your small timeframe to remove the DCs from the DFS ?

hope that helps

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