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Windows Server 2016 Data Migration

Windows Server 2016 Data Migration

Despite the fact the support ended for Windows server 2003 on July 14th 2015 there are still many companies that are using this server-side operating system. Because most networks that require a server in the first place tend to be quite large it is often difficult for these companies to change the server’s operating system and that results in these companies being stuck with the out-dating version.

Part of the problem is that migrating away from windows server 2003 (Or any server operating system for that matter) can be a very big task indeed. Firstly, just the logistics of planning such a migration can be very time-consuming, then there is the cost of upgrading the software – the direct cost of the replacement operating system and the cost of other software that needs to be replaced as a result. Finally, there is the actual logistics of migrating all of the data and services from the old to the new operating system and or server.

Anyone who works in IT will already understand what a task this is – and especially just how many things along the way could go wrong. In addition to this, any IT provider knows that the things you need to avoid most for your networks are downtime and loss of data. Both of these things are a big concern when migrating to a new server operating system. If anything goes wrong during the migration, then there will likely be downtime as a result – and regardless of whether it is your own network or that of your clients this downtime can be very expensive and thus it needs to be avoided at all costs.

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Secondly, the loss of data can be just as expensive. The problem with server-based networks and specifically the servers that run those networks is that data comes in so many forms, it can be very large in terms of both size and item count and also it is often a requirement that the data be kept for a certain number of years. This means that losing any of that data during the migration can be catastrophic and can result in downtime, loss of work and even legal action.

Even more importantly when it comes to data is the fact that data sets are often so large that even confirming that no data has been lost can be difficult. Imagine a company where client data is stored for 5 years even after the client is no longer active – these archived records might never be checked, unless there is an issue or that client comes back on board. So after a migration staff may not ever check those records and thus would not know if they were missing.

For this reason, it is often the IT providers job to have a full-proof way of checking that data before and after the migration to ensure that the data has been transferred and that it is not corrupted post transfer.

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With these issues in mind here are some of the key points that you can take as an IT provider in order to ensure that your system migration goes as smoothly as possible and that even if a major issue does occur it can be easily mitigated without any downtime or loss of data.

Keeping a roll-back procedure in place

This is very important and often involves installing brand new hardware to house the upgraded operating systems. Once this hardware is installed it can be joined to your existing network and then the services can be migrated over one at a time. The advantage of this method is that you always have the existing server in place until everything has been fully tested and you are ready to remove it. Thus if anything goes wrong along the way there is always an option to roll back to that existing setup.

Test at every step

Again a very important step is to test everything along the way in a non-production environment. For example, when you are ready to migrate the first client to the new operating system this can be done in a test environment taking just one client and migrating them over as if in production, then testing everything to ensure that it all went as planned.

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Use third party software for data transfer

As explained previously in this article, data transfer is one of the most crucial aspects of a migration. If it is not well planned and carried out correctly, then it can go wrong over and over again and this can increase the length of the migration massively. Not only that, if the data migration doesn’t go well the result can be a loss of data, issues with file permissions or even issues with data path lengths after the migration. All of these things are a nightmare for the IT staff responsible for the migration and they are also potential areas where data could be lost and the company could incur costs.

The best way to avoid these problems of data transfer is to use a third-party program to do the transfer. The copy and paste options that come built into windows are simply not sufficient here as they don’t have enough error correction capabilities or logging facilities.

One of the best programs on the market is GS RichCopy 360 Enterprise offered by GuruSqaud. This is a commercial software and yet it is very affordable when compared to most other data copy programs out there. This program makes copying data during your migration a hassle free task and it takes care of all the things that would normally be potential issues during a data migration.

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For example, this software can copy open files, it has long path name support and it even has the ability to copy NTFS permissions between the source and destination.

Along with these tips, you should also plan your migration down to every last detail – don’t leave anything to chance and don’t leave anything to the day of the migration – make sure you know everything about the system, exactly what needs to be migrated, what needs to be tested at the other end and so on.

With all of these tips in mind, your migration should go smoothly.

More by this author

Tanvir Zafar

Software Engineer at GCUF

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Published on September 20, 2018

11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

Minimizing Tabs

Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

Incognito Mode

Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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  1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
  2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
  3. Download extension New Incognito Window

This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

Save Webpages as PDF Files

Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

Open Recently-closed Tabs

Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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Solve Mathematical Problems

Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

Play Media Files

Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

Stay Focus(e)d

Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

Grammarly for Editing

Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

Loom

There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

Chrome Calendar Extension

No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

Final Thoughts

Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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