File / Print Server Migration

Our Customer

Our customer for this project was an enterprise level manufacturing and machining facility with multiple servers and over a hundred workstations. As a tireless partner in several critical supply chains, the efficient operation of their network and rapid processing of information is essential to their well-being.

Highlight of Major Issues

Our client contacted us, complaining of low disk space, file access and security issues, and conflicts with third-party software on their two file servers. They were very concerned that the servers they had were affecting their ability to maintain their business, and asked us for help. This would turn out to be a large-scale complete file and print server migration. Our client had two file/print servers, a Windows 2000 Server and a more modern Windows 2003 file server that was beginning to develop end-of-life hardware issues. On top of that, these servers were never role-optimized, so they also contained file databases, websites, FTP sites, licensing services, and other business critical applications that would have to be moved carefully and skillfully.

The Process

We began by completing a comprehensive assessment of the client’s needs regarding file accessibility, security, structure, and expandability. We reviewed their long-term strategic goals and objectives for the business, and based on our findings, we suggested to our customer to use the much newer and robust Windows Server 2008 R2 on fresh cutting-edge hardware to ensure maximum expandability and a degree of future proofing.

We then proceeded to analyze the existing data and applications on these servers, migrating critical business applications such as external web interfaces, application databases, licensing and certificate services, and determining which applications were obsolete and could be either retired or replaced with more current versions.

Next, we tackled moving over a hundred user profile and home directories, and redesigning the logon process to improve security for user files and increase usability to provide better service to our client’s users. We also analyzed and then completely migrated all in-use printers to the new file server, testing as we went to verify that no showstoppers would be present the morning after.

Finally, all the files were successfully migrated over to the new server, where they had far greater security and much better organization than in their previous location.

Once we had thoroughly confirmed with our client that everything related to the migration was functioning as desired, we were able to successfully turn off the old servers. The results of the migration were immediately apparent, resulting in increased access speed, uptime and overall network efficiency.

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