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Time to replace our printer/shared drive server

Posted on 2014-04-08
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Last Modified: 2014-04-09
We are beginning our discussion of upgrading our Windows 2003 server that is currently a printer server as well as houses the majority of our companies' shared drives. Goal one is get these two things separated so they aren't on the same server, goal two get both off of the current server.

Our initial thoughts are to keep the IP of the current server associated to the new printer server.

We're also worried about the shared drive changes, everyone has their own drive which is on \\server1\users\username folder. All those are going to change once 'server1' is no longer where this is stored.

We'd like to hear any lessons learned on this type of change, we are in the very early stages of discussion and trying to figure out what to expect.
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Question by:InformationSystems
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by:Hypercat (Deb)
ID: 39987205
A lot of what you can expect going forward is going to depend on you're starting point.  As I'm sure you're aware, you're using a 10+ year old operating system and a lot of things have changed.  

What is the size of your network - how many servers and workstations?  Are you on a domain or workgroup?  How do you do your backups?  Do you currently use any sort of server-side user environment settings and tools such as group policies, folder redirection, etc.? What is the operating system level of your workstations?
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by:InformationSystems
ID: 39987286
What is the size of your network - how many servers and workstations? Roughly 1200 workstations and roughly 40 servers
Are you on a domain or workgroup? Domain
How do you do your backups? Disk to disk. Full on Fri. and dif. On M,T,W,TH
Do you currently use any sort of server-side user environment settings and tools such as group policies, folder redirection, etc.? Yes, folder redirection, and group policy are both used
What is the operating system level of your workstations? About 50/50 XP/Windows 7
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by:pgm554
ID: 39987370
It is consolidation and virtualization time.
Get a couple of super servers and a SAN.
Server 2003 is on it's last legs of support.

We can point you in the right direction,but I would bring in a pro company that has done it before.
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by:InformationSystems
ID: 39987618
I'm sorry but I should have explained further. Everything that we can virtualize has been. Out of the 40 servers 90% of them are virtual, including our print/shared drive server. We also utilize an EMC SAN were all data is stored. All 1200 workstations are physical and we use VMWare for our servers.
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by:pgm554
ID: 39987643
The shared drives should be a piece of cake,you just change the login script to reflect new location.

The print services on the new 2008 and 20012 are pretty different and a new IP address or old IP address doesn't really matter as I would just push out the printers to the users via gpo.
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Hypercat (Deb) earned 500 total points
ID: 39988661
If you're already using GPOs, then it should be quite easy.  You would most likely be replacing the 2003 server with 2012, so you can use group policy preferences to re-map the shared resources to the correct new location.  You actually don't want to use the same IP address, which really wouldn't do you any good.  Giving the new server a different IP address will help you move everything in a more orderly fashion.   Also, if you're not already using 2008/2012 level group policies, then you'll need to create a central store for the new version of group policies and install the ADMX files on your domain controllers.

Then you can also use group policies and the print management features of 2012 to push out the new printers to the workstations.  If you're not using print management now to manage your printers on the 2003 server, this could be a little tricky. What you need to do is this:

1.  Make sure all of your XP workstations have the group policy client side extensions installed, if not already done.  This will make them capable of processing the 2008/2012 version of group policies, including print management and drive map preferences.

2.  Install the printers on the new server.

3. If you're not already using print management, then you'll need to use a script or some other method of removing the old printer redirection from the workstations.

4.  Install the print management features on the new server and use the print management console to install and deploy the printers.

If you're using a login script rather than group policies to map drive now, then you'd need to modify the login script of course as you move the shared files and folders and add them to the group police drive map preferences.
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