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We have a number of large (>10GB) files on a server that need to be moved to another location on the same server after a review.

The users doing the review and file move do not have RDP access to the server, but can access the files via UNC paths:

\\server\FilesToReview
\\server\MoveToHere

Currently they use Windows Explorer to copy/paste the files. It's pretty slow as I think the file is being copied/cached locally and then uploaded again to the new location on the server.

Is there a way to move the files on the server without having them traverse the network twice? Would re-configuring the UNC shares like this have any impact?

\\server\FilesToReview
\\server\FilesToReview\MoveToHere

Any ideas gratefully received...

Edits Server is Windows Server 2012, client is Windows 10 Windows 7 (thanks @Daniel B); Files need to be copied, not moved; Files are on the same disk (thanks @Attie)

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    Only recent versions of SMB offer server-side copy offload. You didn’t mention any Windows versions in your question. – Daniel B Sep 25 '18 at 12:52
  • An option would be to offer them a task in a self service portal to do it on their behalf. Another option would be to have a task on the server that monitors whenever the review is finished by some means and act on it. – Seth Sep 25 '18 at 12:58
  • Do they need to "copy" or "move" the file(s)? If the latter, then don't copy/paste...? – Attie Sep 25 '18 at 12:58
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    Are the two shares on the same disk / filesystem? – Attie Sep 25 '18 at 12:59
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    It's worth noting that the fact you're copying the data means new bits have to be written. No matter how you slice it this will take time. – I say Reinstate Monica Sep 25 '18 at 13:42
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According the information you’ve given, you’re already using server-side copy offload. According to the Samba wiki, it’s available in the following operating systems:

  • Windows Server 2012 and later: via Windows Explorer or Robocopy
  • Windows 8 and later: via Windows Explorer or Robocopy
  • Windows Server 2008: via Robocopy only
  • Windows 7: via Robocopy only

You can easily check by looking at Task Manager’s “Performance” tab. It’ll look somewhat likes this:

server-side copy

As you can see, it uses just about no bandwidth, yet it still copies at 27.7 MB/s.

Also note how I create a copy of a file in the same folder and it’s super slow. That’s just how slow hard disks are.

  • Thanks. That link indicates that one of the limitations is that "Both source and destination files must reside on the same Samba share!". I guess copying from \\server\share1 to \\server\share2 would violate that (i.e. no server-side copy), whereas \\server\share1 to \\server\share1\share2 would not? – Duodenalsalmons Sep 25 '18 at 15:13
  • Ah yes, missed that. Yes, it probably has to be on the same share. But that may also be a limitation specific to Samba. Just check with Task Manager! – Daniel B Sep 25 '18 at 15:25
  • Mystery solved - users were actually using Windows 7, but mistakenly reported this as Windows 10. So using Robocopy from \\server\share1 to \\server\share2 does speed things up considerably via ODX. Thanks for the assistance! – Duodenalsalmons Oct 24 '18 at 12:43

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