Join Scott M Burrell for an in-depth discussion in this video Introducing Storage Migration Service, part of Windows Server 2019: Installation and Configuration.
- [Instructor] A lot of this course so far has focused on the creation of a new Windows network. I want to shift things for a little bit to talk about one of the features available to help you migrate from an older version of Windows Servers, and I'm going to focus on one of the oldest uses of a Windows Server, that being sharing files. We create shares for all kinds of user and company data. We plan them out very carefully. We work out their security needs, and we create Active Directory groups and assign permissions so that everybody can access what they need and can be blocked from what they don't.
And then, we configure all of our user machines so that they point to network paths or even drive mappings. We might even go so far as to manage how much of a drive a user is able to take up with their data, audit who's using it and how and when. There's a lot of effort and time that goes into creating a file server that can effectively serve your network, so it's understandable, after all that work, that migrating user files from one server to another is not something that we look forward to doing.
Copying the files is easy enough, but trying to transfer all of the rest of the settings, that's another issue altogether. Storage Migration Service was introduced by Microsoft in Windows Server 2019, and it not only transfers the files, but it will take all of the configuration and all of the settings of those files, and the server that hosts them, and send those over to a new machine. And it will do it in a way that users don't have to know that anything changed.
Like Storage Spaces Direct or other features and roles, SMS does require the presence of an Active Directory domain. Unlike Storage Spaces Direct, SMS will work on Standard edition servers. You may need more sophisticated editions of Windows Server for clustering in data center environments, but anyone with a file server will appreciate the ability to migrate from one to another. The pieces of the migration are these. First, you need to have a source server.
The file server that's been taking care of your users and their information needs to be at least Windows Server 2003 for this to work. Second, you need a new Windows 2019 Server not configured with a lot of other roles and services because it's about to take on the role of your existing Windows File Server. This target machine can be a physical machine, it can be a virtual machine, it can even be a virtual machine in an Azure space, which means this could be your path to moving portions of your network into the cloud.
Third, you need a Windows 2019 Server to orchestrate the migration. That can be the destination, it can be your target server that's going to be the new file server, but in larger migrations, you may want to specify a separate Windows 2019 box to manage the entire process. There's a feature that you need to install on the target server and on the orchestrator server. The Storage Migration Service is a feature that can easily be added to any Windows Server that's a member of an Active Directory domain.
You don't need to install anything on your old source file server, especially considering how far back Microsoft is supporting this migration from. With those two or three servers in place and the SMS feature installed on your target and orchestrator servers, the process is three steps, and it is facilitated by a new feature in Microsoft's Windows Admin Center, formally Project Honolulu. It's going to initiate the process by inventorying your old file server.
It will identify what's there, exactly what the configurations are, what exists in Active Directory that references this. It will figure out everything about how that file server is configured, and then it will begin the transfer to a new file server. The files copy, yes, but then it replicates all of the configuration and information. And as a final third step, it's going to do a cutover, which will make your new box represent itself as if it were the old file server.
Meaning, all user shortcuts, all mapped drives and network applications that point to the old share don't have to be changed. You don't have to reconfigure your whole network. You will have successfully migrated the entire file sharing service of this box onto a new machine, enabling you to now decommission that old server.
- Planning the server hardware
- Installing Windows Server 2019
- Configuring NIC teaming
- Configuring storage
- Configuring roles
- Managing features on demand
- Migrating roles and features to other servers with SMIG