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Trying to understand how the network traffic works under windows for file moves. Under which scenarios below do the bits get routed through my local machine, and which does the file server(s) just move things locally w/out involving the network?

\\server_one\share_one\bigfile.dat --> \\server_one\share_one\subfolder\bigfile.dat
\\server_one\share_one\bigfile.dat --> \\server_one\different_share\bigfile.dat
\\server_one\share_one\bigfile.dat --> \\different_server\different_share\bigfile.dat

Assume I'm drag/dropping in two instances of windows explorer.

Do you need to know the OS's of the machines in question? If any of these route the file through my local, are there other tools that would allow me to bypass?

Many thanks!

  • Ooh--I did not see that--thanks! But I would say this Q is a bit more thorough than that one, in that there are multiple scenarios, apparently w/different answers. – Roy Pardee Aug 8 '13 at 15:30
  • This is a very good and informative question! I just wish that there was a simple way to set up Windows 7 to transfer data within itself rather than VIA the network when a user who has Full Control access to two different shares on said system move items from the one to the other. – HowlinWulf Jan 30 '15 at 7:03
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The 1st one is just a rename in the same share so that is nearly instant and done server-side.
Both others go through your local computer. (Data will traverse the LAN twice.)

This is actually not always true: If the servers involved are Windows 2008 or Windows 2012 and the server administrator has configured some special handling and your local PC is at least Windows 7 then it may be possible that the move will be done server<->server.
(This feature is available as of Server 2008, but I have not seen it really being used anywhere.)

In order to have to move done as efficiently as possible you will have to logon on the server itself (either on the console or via RDP) and do the move from there.

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