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Server 2012 Folder redirection

Posted on 2014-04-08
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Last Modified: 2014-07-07
Hi all,

Quick question hopefully.

I think we have a need for users local folders (my docs, desktop etc) to be stored on our internal network rather than locally for security / backup reasons. However, I do not want to redirect image or audio files. I know that I can simply deselect the music and picture folders from the redirection, but I was wondering if there is a way to exclude file types as a lot of users have (for example) music folders as a sub folder in 'my docs' along with other image files.

If there is no logical way of doing this, should I be considering using Offline file sync instead and creating a file screen?

All workstations are Windows 7 and above by the way and our servers are all 2012 standard.

Many thanks in advance
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Question by:PurpleJelly
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Expert Comment

by:becraig
ID: 39986848
This can be done via GPO:
Exclusion list

The exclusion list feature reduces synchronization overhead and disk space usage on the server, and speeds up backup and restore operations by excluding files of certain types from replication across all Folder Redirection clients. Prior to Windows 7, all files in an Offline Files folder were replicated to the server. This often meant that a user’s personal files or large files not relevant to the enterprise were replicated to one or more servers, thereby consuming disk space and slowing backup and restore times. On Windows 7, administrators can use the Offline Files exclusion list feature to prevent files of certain types (for example, MP3 files) from being synchronized. The list of file types is configured by the IT administrator by using Group Policy.

More information:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff633429%28v=ws.10%29.aspx
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Author Comment

by:PurpleJelly
ID: 40015166
Hi thanks for that, this implies not using folder redirection but more like using offline files. Not sure that is what I want to achieve.......?

Anyone else have any suggestions?
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Author Comment

by:PurpleJelly
ID: 40017809
A bit more info is required from me I think..... Maybe the requirements haven't been described as best they could...!

My scenario is that I have a network where in a typical local user profile there is (for example) 60gb of data. Of that data, 55gb is personal stuff and unrelated to work (music, movies, holiday pics etc). We don't really care about this 55gb, but do care about the other 5gb.

My initial thought was to use folder redirection to the server via Group Policy, but I cannot do that as (for example) .jpg files are not just in the 'My Pictures' folder which I would exclude. So then I considered offline folders (see becraigs post above) but this wont work as I'm not syncing from a network location in the first place.

Can anyone help please?

Thanks
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Accepted Solution

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becraig earned 1500 total points
ID: 40027651
Ok so there is no easy way to do this, but here is a suggestion.

The folder redirection is done to a share, you can simply set the share to limit the file types that can be store on the share:
File Screening Management   Control the types of files that users can store on a file server. You can limit the extension that can be stored on your file shares. For example, you can create a file screen that does not allow files with an MP3 extension to be stored in personal shared folders on a file server.

Some more info on this approach:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831746.aspx

This is as close as I think I can get to what you are after.
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