Make the most of Remote Storage Services in Windows 2003

Here are four tips for making the most of Remote Storage Services (RSS), Microsoft's hierarchical storage management utility built into Windows Server 2003.

Remote Storage Services (RSS) is Microsoft's hierarchical storage management utility built into Windows Server 2003. RSS lets Windows administrators automatically migrate infrequently used files to lower-cost storage, such as tape libraries. Since RSS maintains a stub, called a junction point, at the site of the migrated file, the system can automatically recall it if it is requested.

Here are four tips for making the most of RSS in Windows Server 2003.

1. Perform anti-virus scans only on file access. If your anti-virus program scans volumes using RSS regularly, the remotely stored files may be brought back onto disk unnecessarily.

2. Don't combine DFS and RSS. The Windows Distributed File System (DFS) can cause problems when RSS is applied to DFS targets configured for replication. When a new target is added to a replicating DFS link, the entire folder is read by the File Replication Service to produce the staging files needed to synchronize the data. If this happens, you won't lose any data, but, again, the data stored by RSS may be brought back to the disk.

3. Make sure that RSS is working. Perform regular tests to validate RSS-managed volumes. Make sure the system can find and recall them when they are requested. It's important to do this not only when setting up your RSS system, but to do it on a scheduled basis to detect any errors or potential problems.

4. Remember: RSS is not backup. RSS is a storage management tool, not a substitute for backup. You must still regularly back up your files whether you are using RSS or not. In fact, you must be sure to add the RSS database to your backups so that access to the migrated files is not lost in the event of a problem.


Fast Guide: Remote Storage Service

  Introduction
  Remote Storage Services troubleshooting tips
  Reconfiguring Remote Storage Services for new media types
  Ensure data is available for Remote Storage Services
  Make the most of Remote Storage Service in Windows 2003
  Restore Remote Storage Service database in WinServer 2003
  Restoring the Remote Storage Service database

Rick Cook is a freelance writer specializing in issues related to storage and storage management.


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This was first published in January 2006

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