How to replace a file server with Azure File Sync agent installed without downloading data from Azure

Simion Brad 20 Reputation points


I have a Windows 2016 server on on-prem VMware which is fully functional and have about 20TB of data synched in Azure via Azure Sync. This server is used primarily to backup data in Azure.

I need to replace this server with a Windows 2019 server.

The plan is this:

  1. Install Azure Sync Agent on Win 2k19 server and register in Azure File Sync
  2. Shutdown the Win 2k16 server
  3. Detach the data disks from Win 2k16 server and attach to the Win 2k19 server
  4. Recreate the shares on the Win 2k19 like they were on Win 2k16
  5. Add the new Win 2k19 server endpoint in the same Sync Group
  6. -----This step is what I don't know: will Azure File Sync download and overwrite all files on the new server ? 20TB download from Azure is not what I want. I expect Azure File Sync will see the files in the new endpoint and will not overwrite them as they are identical essentially.----
  7. Unregister the old server from Azure Sync and delete the old server endpoints
  8. Remove the old server from on-prem AD and DNS
  9. Rename the new server with the old server name and maintain the old IP
  10. Reboot the new server
  11. ------ I expect at this stage this will be fully transparent to users as it will look to users like nothing changed ----

Is this procedure correct and the 20TB download will not happen ?

Azure Files
Azure Files
An Azure service that offers file shares in the cloud.
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Accepted answer
  1. Sumarigo-MSFT 45,321 Reputation points Microsoft Employee

    @Simion Brad Welcome to Microsoft Q&A Forum, Thank you postings your query here!

    Yes, your procedure is correct and Azure File Sync should not download and overwrite all files on the new server. When you add the new Win 2k19 server endpoint to the existing Sync Group, Azure File Sync will compare the files on the new server with the files in the cloud and only download/upload the changes. Since the files on the new server are identical to the files in the cloud, Azure File Sync will not need to download/upload the entire 20TB of data.

    However, it's important to note that the initial synchronization of the files on the new server may take some time, depending on the size of the changes and the speed of your network connection. During this time, users may experience some latency or performance issues when accessing the files on the new server.

    Also, when you rename the new server with the old server name and IP address, you may need to update the DNS records and any other systems that reference the old server name and IP address to point to the new server. This will help to ensure that users are able to access the files on the new server without any issues.

    Please let us know if you have any further queries. I’m happy to assist you further.     

    Please do not forget to "Accept the answer” and “up-vote” wherever the information provided helps you, this can be beneficial to other community members.

    1 person found this answer helpful.

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