Boston IT Services Experts Explain File Synchronization

Brian St. Marie - Sr. Systems Engineer

Moving data from a production file server to a new file server can be time consuming and create substantial downtime for a client.  To avoid this, the best procedure is to set up a file synchronization between the old server and the new server.  This way, switching to the new server is a virtually instantaneous process for users.

The simplest way to synchronize the production server with the new file server is to use robocopy.  This executable is freely available from the Windows Resource Kit.  Using the /MIR option with robocopy ensures that the folder and file structure between the source and destination are identical, including any deletions or modifications to files on the source server.  Since only changed files are synchronized after the first synchronization, successive synchronizations take much less time than the initial synchronization.

Once you’re ready to actually make the switch, simply run one last synchronization and then update login scripts or other network file sharing services accordingly to ensure clients will redirect to the new server from that point forward.