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Move from Windows 2003 file share cluster to 2012 DFS Cluster

Posted on 2013-01-07
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Last Modified: 2013-01-11
My company currently has a Windows 2003 active/passive file cluster. All share are controlled by the cluster and the volumes reside on our SAN. We are looking to upgrade our file servers and cluster to 2012 and implement DFS to have one name space.. Here are my questions.

1) If we were to implement a 2012 member server DFS would be do it in the following order:
        a) Update Windows 2008 scheme
         b) Create Windows 2012 active / passive cluster
         c) install 2012 A.D based DFS

2) If we moved to a single DFS name space how would be move all of our share from our 2003 file server cluster to 2012 DFS/cluster?

Another other tips or advice would be greatly appriachaited!!!!!
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Question by:compdigit44
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ArneLovius earned 2000 total points
ID: 38754508
DFS is good is you have multiple locations, or multiple servers, or for migrating to new servers once you are on DFS.

If you just have a single location and a single (clustered) file server, DFS doesn't add much.

You might want to look at a DFS file share across two servers, each with their own "local" (not hared on a single SAN) storage, using DFS to present as a single share and DFS replication between the two servers, this then provides you with a different take on availability compared to an active/passive cluster with shared storage. You can also use a cluster file system (such as StorNext) to have an active/active file server cluster and use DFS to present the two file servers as a single server.

Migrating to DFS is the same as migrating to another server, ordinary file shares can be copied (robocopy/rsync to copy data across), and the same issues with moving profiles and redirected folders, however once you have moved to DFS, all future server changes can be done transparently from a client perspective.
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by:compdigit44
ID: 38754677
Thank you for you replay. Actually we do have two file servers one at our main HQ and another smaller file server at a remote site. We wanted to move to DFS to allow for one common name space.

Is this the correct order for setting up DFS?
) If we were to implement a 2012 member server DFS would be do it in the following order:
        a) Update Windows 2008 scheme
         b) Create Windows 2012 active / passive cluster
         c) install 2012 A.D based DFS


ALso, I was thinking about creating a small 2012 VM in both site and doing a prof-of-concept test to play with 2012 DFS in our current domain.  Would doing so cause any problems or craete any A.D object that I should be concerned about?
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by:ArneLovius
ID: 38755509
yes you have the correct high level workflow

you could use "domain.local/test" for your PoC, then use "domain.local/dfsroot", or "domain.local/shares" or whatever naming convention you like for the production DFS namespace.

once you are happy with the PoC, you can remove any shares and replications that you created, and then remove the namespace servers without any issues
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by:compdigit44
ID: 38758869
The reason why you have to update the scheme is to support the 2012 DFS A.D replication correct?
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by:compdigit44
ID: 38759441
in DFS how would you handle the following situation

Two different files server but each have shares , shared with the same names?????
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Expert Comment

by:ArneLovius
ID: 38759488
It depends on how you setup your DFS hierarchy.

Moving to DFS gives you the perfect opportunity to resolve  issues such as that, you can  create and apply a consistent naming convention to file shares.

If a share is accessed by windows clients as a mapped drive, the share name is irrelevant, just push the new drive mapping out via logon script or group policy

You can also have the same share (with the same contents) on multiple servers, either with a cluster files system, or with DFS Replication.
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by:compdigit44
ID: 38759499
If I'm understand you correcntly if I setup A.D based DFS and currently have two seperate file servers that host share with the same names, I could add both share to DFS as it and there contents will be merged togther?????
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LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:ArneLovius
ID: 38759635
No, DFS will not merge.

DFS provides two features, a single namespace, and replication. A client connects to the "best" (usually closest) server for the named share.
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Author Comment

by:compdigit44
ID: 38759717
So could I add both shares with the same name into dfs???
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LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:ArneLovius
ID: 38759917
as long as they are both not in the root, yes
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Author Comment

by:compdigit44
ID: 38759977
by root you mean the same name space???
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LVL 43

Expert Comment

by:Steve Knight
ID: 38760129
If you have two shares with the same name on different servers you just have to have them in DFS as different names, or somewhere else i the structure, e.g.

\\domain.local\dfsroot\share1   --> \\server1\share1
\\domain.local\dfsroot\share2   --> \\server2\share1

\\domain.local\dfsroot\server1\share1   --> \\server1\share1
\\domain.local\dfsroot\server2\share1   --> \\server2\share1

Using DFS is always best when done from scratch but just publish your existing structure into DFS, re-arranging as you go along and adding new areas too if you wish then get your users to move over to new paths.... that depends how much is does at your place by UNC vs drive letters -- application install paths, drive mappings, settings in applications etc.

Good luck with it!

Steve
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Author Comment

by:compdigit44
ID: 38762758
Thanks..

One of my shares which is on my active/passive cluster is shared out and managed via the cluster. Meaning the all subfolders are automatically shared out. Is there anything special that needs to be donw on migrating a cluster share?
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