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Win2k8r2 - File server alternatives

We are using Hyper V in a Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise environment, one of our guest OS we are using as a file server.  We are always running low on disk space.  It have a total of 500 GB of space and 498 GB is being used.  We find ourselves always having to increase the disk space every week.  Adding space is not the issue, however when analyzing the data there are many duplicate files, old files that haven't been accessed in years.  Is there another type of fileserver that we should be using (such as features in Windows Server 2012 R2) that we enable us to provide better organization (possible something with deduplication)?  We wouldn't be interested in using something like SharePoint.

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You could setup a linux server with samba, that uses lessfs as the filesystem on the data area where the smb shares are stored.

lessfs is a filesystem with internal, transparent deduplication.

But this kind of filesystem is a meta filesystem based on Databases.
So good backups are a must as its easy to be corrupted and fubared.
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Seth Simmons
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I wouldn't recommend a linux solution unless you're VERY experienced in Linux.

I would move to Server 2012 R2 and use Data Deduplication from that.  You can the DDPEVAL tool to see how much savings you might get from doing so:
Linux is actually not that hard. In most cases even more easy to manage han windows.

The only thing is you need to understand what it can and what it CANNOT do. It cannot fully replace an AD-controller,
but it can very well be a very decent fileserver, printserver and even a domain controller, if you do not need all the functions of AD.

We run severalsmall and medium sized windows domains with samba3 servers (PDC-style domains). Never tried Samba4 and AD style yet, so cannot give any hints on how tricky it will be to implement.

But as Lee W, MVP said, yes you need some experience, but that is also necessary fr operating windoes servers.
The most tricky thing on my solution would be the lessfs filesystem, its only recommended if you run frequent and working backups.  Also the Win2012 solution might be the one more stable. Lessfs isnt widely used yo you cannot find a lot of informations regarding this on the net.
To be clear my advice regarding linux is based on years of experience trying to learn it and troubleshoot it - the linux community is, compared to the Windows community not very friendly or helpful unless you're already knowledgeable about the platform.  RTFM is WAY too often the response I get to difficult questions - hey j@ck@ss - if I had the time to RTFM, I wouldn't be asking!
I agree with Lee, if a system administrator is not very confident with Windows, then they are unlikely to find Linux any easier - in fact they will find it an order of magnitude harder with a long learning curve.

Maybe if they persevere they will eventually  be able to do lots of things with Linux more easily than with Windows. But in this case i dont think Linux would be suitable. If it was a Linux appliance with a web interface then it would be different.

But lets not get into Windows/Linux wars...