All our users files are located on a centralized (Server 2016) file server. The directories individual users use are set to 'make available offline' - either via GPO for directories like their home drives, or by the users explicitly right clicking and selecting "make available offline" of various project directories. This works well for times when they need to leave the office and/or the network goes down; it also helps keep versioning issues to a minimum.

I now have a user doing a current project with very high I/O needs... high enough that, to be viable, they need to access files on their local drive rather than over the network. They still need to be 'network' files, however, as a few other people need access to the files too -- so simply "making a local copy" isn't a good option.

When they pull the network cord from their computer, things go speedy and nice... because their program is accessing the files stored on the hard drive.

When they are connected to the network, things go very slow... ostensibly because it's pulling the files over the network rather than the ones on the local drive. What appears to be the case is that the network files are used by by default and then just sync'd to the local drive.

How can flip this relationship? How can I make set the system to use the local files by default (and sync to the network as they change)?

In fact, I'd love to do this enterprise-wide if possible...

(Windows 10 system, server 2016 file server)

  • Have you looked into why the server is running slowly over the network? – Canadian Luke REINSTATE MONICA Jun 6 '18 at 16:48
  • 1) The file server is EOL - replacement arriving in a month or so. 2) Even if it was fast, coming over a 1gbps network line (and I don't plan to upgrade the core network switch just for this one user) is not going to be as quick as some RAID 0 SSD's. 3) Even if it was fast enough, it'd be nice to pull from the local drive first to remove needless load from the server/network. – lowcrawler Jun 6 '18 at 17:16

I don't believe you can set Windows to "automatically" pull from the local drive when accessing files over a network. You will likely need to setup a situation where a certain folder is synchronized all the time.

What I did for some staff here before we could upgrade our network was to create a "Sync" folder on their desktop. I then used SyncToy from Microsoft, and setup a sync pair from a shared drive to their new Sync folder.

The sync was setup to run every hour. Since it only makes changes when a file/folder is updated, it is not constantly running up all my bandwidth. The users would then use the local copies in their Sync folder, giving them speed. After the next sync, we knew it was sent to the server automatically, without changing much of the user's workflow.

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