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Move from Windows 2003 file share cluster to 2012 DFS Cluster

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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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?
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
The reason why you have to update the scheme is to support the 2012 DFS A.D replication correct?
in DFS how would you handle the following situation

Two different files server but each have shares , shared with the same names?????
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.
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?????
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.
So could I add both shares with the same name into dfs???
as long as they are both not in the root, yes
by root you mean the same name space???
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!


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?