Storage Migration Service or MSFT adds WorkingHardInIT like skills in Windows Server 2019

As readers of my blog will know very well is that one of my track records is that I’m fairly successful in keeping technology debt low. One of the workloads I have always moved successfully over the years are file servers. Right now, almost all, almost everywhere, are the goodness of SMB3 and are high available clustered file server roles. You can read about some of those efforts in some of my blogs:

Sometimes this cans quite a challenge but over the years I have gained the experience and expertise to deal with such projects. Not everyone is in that position. This leads to aging file services, technology debt, security risks, missed opportunities (SMB3 people!) and often even unsupported situations in regards to hardware and software. While since the release of Windows Server 2016 this image has shifted a bit, you can clearly see the pretty depressing state of file services. Windows rules the on premises server world but the OS versions are aging fast.

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Image courtesy of SpiceWorks: Server Virtualization and OS Trends

The operating systems are ancient, old or aging and we all know what this means in regards to the SMB version in use.

Now I work hard, effective and efficiently but I cannot be everywhere. Luckily for you Microsoft has a great new capability coming up in Windows Server 2019, the Windows Server Storage Migration Service.

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Figure2: the WorkingHardInIT feature officially known as the Windows Server Storage Migration Service. Image courtesy of Microsoft.

Thanks to Ned Pyle and his team’s efforts you can no aspire to me as successful as me when it comes to migrating file services to newer environments. It’s like having WorkingHardInIT in a Windows feature. Isn’t that cool?! If they sold that separately they would make a pretty penny but they luckily for you include it with their new server OS version.

Storage Migration Servers deals with many of the usual problems and intricacies of a storage / file service migration. It will handle things like share settings, security settings, network addresses and names, local accounts, encrypted data, files that are in use etc. To handle you project you have a GUI and PowerShell automation at your disposal. Windows Server 2019 is still being perfected and you can still provide feedback while testing this feature.

Things to note for now (bar the requirements for testing as described in Ned Pyle’s blog) are:

Supported source operating systems VM or hardware (to migrate from):

  • Windows Server 2003
  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Windows Server 2016
  • Windows Server 2019 Preview

Supported destination operating system VM or hardware (to migrate to):

  • Windows Server 2019 Preview*

* Technically your destination for migration can be any Windows Server OS, but we aren’t testing that currently. And when we release the faster and more efficient target proxy system in a few weeks it will only run on Windows Server 2019.

In my humble opinion that almost has to be Storage Replica technology being leveraged. Something that has been proven to be very much more efficient that copying files. Microsoft already promotes Storage Replica to other server or itself as a way of moving data to a new LUN.

Anyway, this is a cool feature that should grab your attention. Thank you Ned Pyle and team! And while you’re busy putting this great capability into Windows Server 2019 (Standard and Datacenter) consider doing the same for full featured Storage Replica in Windows Server 2019 Standard .

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