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Windows Server 2012 -- rename ?

Posted on 2014-12-10
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Last Modified: 2014-12-23
I want to replace an OLD 2003 32bit "\\FileServer1\GROUP\folderName"
with a new 2012 64bit "\\FileServer2\GROUP\folderName" and trash
the old server, all "\\FileServer1\GROUP\folderName" files are
on my EqualLogic SAN, just mapped via iSCSI to the "\\FileServer1",
and users have mapped drives letters that they setup on their own

Example
  ** JohnDoe has an R drive that targets
     \\FileServer1\GROUP\folderName2\subFolder3

  ** BobSmith has an Z drive that targets
     \\FileServer1\GROUP\folderName5\subFolder7
-------------------------------------------------------------------
I assume I can do something like
the below to prevent USER drive remapping ?

 1. make sure \\FileServer2\GROUP\folderName5\subFolder7 works,
    displaying the same as \\FileServer1\GROUP\folderName5\subFolder7
    since both servers are accessing the same EqualLogic SAN files
 2. change \\FileServer1 name to \\FileServer3
 3. change \\FileServer2 name to \\FileServer1
 4. make sure USER drive mapping still work
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Question by:finance_teacher
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7 Comments
 
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Assisted Solution

by:Cliff Galiher
Cliff Galiher earned 250 total points
ID: 40492297
You can make it even easier. Just create a CName record in DNS so the server responds to the names fileserver1 and fileserver2. No need to rename. Renaming a fileserver usually works well, but many other roles don't handle it well.
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by:Walter Padrón
Walter Padrón earned 250 total points
ID: 40492482
Rename FileServer1 to another name
Install the new 2012 server with the same name and join the domain
Setup the same shares and permissions.

No remapping is necessary.

Word of caution: not all services support renaming.
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Author Comment

by:finance_teacher
ID: 40492505
Ok, would you also change the IP address of
the NEW server to match the OLD server since
some users have hard-coded DNS IPs and
I am changing my DNS server ?
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Assisted Solution

by:Cliff Galiher
Cliff Galiher earned 250 total points
ID: 40492519
Aha. See? We are already beyond renaming "just" a file server.no, I definitely do not recommend changing a server's IP address after tue DNS server role is installed. It invariably breaks the DNS server's bindings. Either run multiple DNS servers (usually a good idea for redundancy anyways) or don't hard-code client DNS (or convert them from hardcoded to DHCP.)  Short term pain for long term gain.
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by:Walter Padrón
Walter Padrón earned 250 total points
ID: 40492609
When you replace a server with another both must have the same services, same name, same IP. You must install the DNS role on new server or clients break.
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by:Cliff Galiher
Cliff Galiher earned 250 total points
ID: 40492728
That is a broad claim and not at all true in many cases. A fileserver, for example, can easily have a new name and a new IP address. A simple CNAME record referencing the old name to the new will let clients find the new machine using a new IP address by referencing the old name. As long as paths and shares are the same, it works seamlessly from SMB1 through SMB3.

DNS?  If you aren't running DNSSec, there is no reason why you need to bring up a new DNS server with the same name as the old one. As far as IP address, if the clients are statically configured, sure, keeping the old address is easier (in the short term) but then you do have a mess of either bringing the old server down *before* bringing the new one up (and a maintenance window outage while that happens) *or* changing the IP address after the fact...which as I've indicated, is not without its own flaws because of when and how the DNS role binds to the NIC.

However *nothing* prevents a person from bringing up a new DNS server, with a new name and new IP, updating a DHCP server to hand out the new DNS server as a primary server, and then retiring the old DNS server at a convenient time, preferably aligned with the longest potential lease expiration. The maintenance window for DHCP clients is *zero* and any DHCP clients will handle the name and IP address change nearly transparently.  

Those are just two examples where a "replacement" server doesn't require the same name *or* IP. But it does require proper planning. Replacing a server is a matter of auditing the roles, understanding the best plan for moving those services, and making other underlying infrastructure changes to make future scalability easier.

Which is why, if we go back to previous responses and my example above, while renaming a DNS server can be done technically, if you like monkeying with bindings after the fact and disrupting users, I'd still *recommend* bringing up the new server with a new name and IP. Then take the extra time to convert static IP clients to DHCP. Is it more work?  IF there are a lot of clients, yes. But what about  a year from now when you need to add another DNS server because of load? Or a server unexpectedly dies? Or a variety of other scenarios where making one change on a server (via DHCP) is suddenly easier than touching each client *again* because of the required change. NOW that investment in switching from static to DHCP suddenly pays huge dividends.  As I said, short term pain for long term gain. Building a scalable infrastructure is *never* a bad thing.

-Cliff
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Accepted Solution

by:
Walter Padrón earned 250 total points
ID: 40494477
@CliffGaliher you are right is a broad statement but the question is a general one, and without more information is a "safer" way.  I suppose he has at least two DNS servers so he could bring one down, and maybe this server is accessed from another site and firewall rule block access if changed address.
I agree too,  DHCP is a better solution than statics IP.
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