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How do you do....it? Thread, Best practice for merging shared drives and migrating NAS in Technical; We are getting a new NAS server in the summer and i am just planning the migration but was wondering ...
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    Best practice for merging shared drives and migrating NAS

    We are getting a new NAS server in the summer and i am just planning the migration but was wondering what best practices are for the migration and managing it.

    The network i have inherited has 4 shared drives. 2 staff shares and 2 student shares. They are a mess with all staff allowed to read and write everywhere. To cut a long story short the previous guy started a migration to this NAS from storing the files on the server itself and then never completed it and leaving the four shares. Hence why the shares are duplicated.

    I want just two shared drives, Staff Resources and Student Resources.


    Questions - How would you migrate?
    1. What would the best way to carry out this migration be?
    2. Set up a new structure with permissions and ask staff to copy over things by a deadline
    3. Organise a meeting with the head of each department to work out the migration
    4. Just copy everything over myself


    We are going to be increasing from 1TB to 7TB of useable space. Would you impose a quota per department? Per user? Or limit the amount of storage seen by everyone? Or leave it as 7TB available.

    Have you imposed a structure on all departments? E.g.
    English
    >Department Minutes
    >Lesson Planning
    >Resources
    >Assessment and Tracking

    Any thoughts and advice on how you do it would be great thanks.

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    seawolf's Avatar
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    We have tended to go with more specialised shares for staff rather than force a strict hierarchy on one share. I found that if we had one share like "Staff Resources" and then created sub-folders asking staff to keep their documents organised appropriately - we ended up with a mess. In that, of we had a folder labelled "curriculum" and one marked "reports" we would end up with docs related to one in the other.

    What has worked best is creating a distinct share called "curriculum" and another called "reports" and another called "Teacher Resources" with sub-folders like "Primary", "Secondary", and below those "Daily Planner", "Discipline". We also created a document showing the shared drives and what each is used for.

    I would use user level quotas on the shares. Breaking the shares up allows more granular quota settings as well. as for whether you show users the whole 7TB depends on whether your backup storage and system allows you to backup that much data and the daily changes, and could restore that much data if needed.

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    Thanks, interesting to get another point of view. Anyone have any tips on the actual migration?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tj2419 View Post
    Thanks, interesting to get another point of view. Anyone have any tips on the actual migration?
    Depends on how much of a mess the shares are at the moment. If you have loads of duplicates, or a file hierarchy that looks like a dog's breakfast - then you might want to sit down with the Head of each Department and ask them to help clean everything up before the migration. If the hierarchy is relatively straightforward enough that you can logically re-arrange things in a neat way, then you might be able to just use robocopy to do the migration.

    Either way, I would map everything out on paper beforehand, give the reasoning for the new file structures, indicate what steps have to be taken to complete the work and then get approval. Do your homework, pitch it, get agreement, communicate what is going to happen to staff, then do it.

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    Good advice from Seawolf there. If you have the resources, I recommend taking a full backup of the entire mess and setting it aside before you do anything. You'll always want to have a way to walk back from a botched attempt at something like this. Just a tip, in the past, when I've migrated shares from one server to another, I've communicated a bit with the users, then set the "old" shares to read-only while I worked on migrating data to the new shares, updating logon scripts to disconnect from the old share to the new etc. That way things are "frozen" a bit, but you're still allowing users access. Knowing how to use robocopy or even xcopy with it's various flags can be really useful for situations like this.

    Thinking more long term though, I would probably want to figure out a structure that is more manageable rather than take a rats nest off of an NAS and plop it down onto a new one.

    We have just one share "\\FILESERVER\Departments$"

    With subfolders beneath that for each department, and permissions set for subfolders by security groups. So there would be a folder for "English" and a security group in AD "ENG_Users" that had all of the English faculty as members with everyone in that group having Modify level permissions to the root of the departmental folder. Then if the department needed a subfolder further restricted, say for the department chair and his/her staff, create a subfolder with unique permissions called "ENG Office Only" and a security group populated with the subset of users you wanted. We're currently using a Win2k8 R2 server with the File Server Resource Management Role and tools, so implementing disk quotas and monitoring it is pretty easy.

    I'm dealing with Windows Server and an Active Directory infrastructure to handle all of this though. I realize you're talking about using a NAS, so maybe none of this applies.

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