The Microsoft Windows Server 2003 operating system includes significant advancements in file and print server capabilities. Migrating Microsoft Windows NT version 4.0 file and print servers to Windows Server 2003 increases reliability, availability, ease of use, and ease of management. New Windows Server 2003 features such as shadow copies of shared folders and disk quotas make it easier to set up, access, and manage a file infrastructure on Windows Server 2003. Print servers are also easier to manage with features such as the ability to manage the print sub-system by using Visual Basic scripts to perform routine print administration tasks .
To successfully migrate your file and print servers you need to examine your server requirements, decide which Windows Server 2003 features to implement, and plan how to efficiently migrate your files and printer configurations.
Information worker productivity begins with data. Protecting information and making it more accessible to users is the most important job for IT departments. Windows Server 2003 optimizes your storage investment by providing intelligent storage and print services to help you manage and share files across your enterprise. It protects end- user data, simplifies complexity, and provides a scalable storage architecture.
Migrating your print servers to new servers running the Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition or Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition operating systems lets your organization s IT staff manage printing resources more efficiently across the network. Windows Server 2003 provides a number of solutions that can benefit your organization.
Using data sharing and collaboration features can significantly improve the productivity of information workers. Windows Server 2003 enables Windows SharePoint Services to deliver enhanced file sharing services for collaborative work processes. Windows SharePoint Services sites provide communities for team collaboration and let users share and collaborate on documents, tasks, contacts, events, and other information. Using Windows SharePoint Services, team and site managers can easily manage site content and user activity. The environment is designed for simple and flexible deployment, administration, and application development.
New file and print server features in Windows Server 2003 that improve performance and ease administration are described in the following sections.
The following sections identify some of the new file server features that Windows Server 2003 offers to help reduce support costs and administrative overhead.
Users who accidentally delete or overwrite files can recover the files themselves by using shadow copies for shared folders ” point-in-time copies of files in shared folders ” instead of requesting administrators to restore the files from backup media.
If users need to access files on multiple file servers without having to keep track of all the server names , you can use DFS to logically group physical shared folders located on different servers by transparently connecting them to one or more hierarchical namespaces. DFS also provides fault-tolerance and load-sharing capabilities.
To more easily manage disks and administer storage hardware, VDS implements a single uniform interface. VDS offers a robust set of solutions that provides flexibility for making long- term investment decisions regarding SANs, NAS, and other storage options.
To prevent unauthorized users from accessing folders, you can use NTFS file system permissions to specify and check the groups and users whose access you want to restrict or allow and the type of access you want to manage.
For more information about these file server features, see Planning Server Deployments of the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Deployment Kit (or see Planning Server Deployments on the Web at http://www.microsoft.com/reskit).
The following sections identify some of the print sub-system features that Windows Server 2003 offers to help reduce support costs and administrative overhead.
Windows Server 2003 supports printing from Microsoft Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, Windows XP Professional, and UNIX or Linux operating systems.
Windows Server 2003 automatically installs printer drivers with no administrative overhead, reducing both management and complexity while enhance the end user experience.
To improve stability, Windows Server 2003 restricts the installation of older printer drivers, which can cause the system to become unresponsive . You can override these restrictions if your network has clients that require older printer drivers.
If you have too many print servers to manage efficiently in your current printing environment, you can use the Print Migrator tool to help automate printer consolidation. Instead of manually recreating all of the printer objects, you can back up existing printers and restore them to your new print servers.
If you use the standard port monitor, you can receive status reports when the printer runs out of paper, runs low on toner, or is stopped by a paper jam.
If you implement the Active Directory directory service, your users can easily find printers that are published in Active Directory by searching for attributes that you designate , such as a color laser printer.
You can use new local Group Policy settings to control which users have access to the print queue over the network.
You can remotely manage and configure printers from any computer running Windows Server 2003.
For more information about these print server features, see Planning Server Deployments of the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Deployment Kit (or Planning Server Deployments on the Web at http://www.microsoft.com/reskit).