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Copying files to new targets with ScriptLogic's Secure Copy

Derek Schauland is planning a storage server migration and for copying his data, he selected ScriptLogic's Secure Copy. Here, he shares his experience working with this tool.

Recently I have been spending a lot of time planning to migrate from an older Windows Storage Server to an EMC Cellerra storage array and was considering a few ways to move data with minimal time spent learning new tools and preferably something with an easily configurable GUI. The application that seemed to meet this need was ScriptLogic's Secure Copy.

Note: This post uses the evaluation version (30 days) to copy files from one location to another and because of this, the copy operations are done using a source and target on the same machine. In additional previous testing, the application worked quite well (although somewhat slowly) to copy from my source (Windows Storage Server 2003) to the new destination server (EMC Celerra storage array).

Configuring Jobs for the file copy

There are a few settings that you can configure to build a copy job to move your files. When the main window opens, shown below in Figure A, click the New button on the toolbar to start a new copy job.

Figure A

The Secure Copy Interface
Copy Location

For the new job, the following items are available to configure:

  • Source and Target Paths - the local location paths of your files
General Options I
  • Changed Files or All files: You can choose whether to copy only files that have changed or all files from the source to the target.
  • Synchronize target contents with source: Allows files and folders (or subfolders) to be purged. Use these carefully as the end result will create a copy of your source data rather than a onetime migration.
  • Overwrite Security on Access Denied : Will modify the security of a file during the copy process to prevent access denied scenarios, this requires you to be an administrator.
  • Don't copy permissions: Selecting this box copies the data only
  • Generate log file: Select this box and specify the log path to capture data when this job runs.
General Options II
  • Map Folders and Files: Pre-create the folder structure on the target to match the source.
  • Allow copy of encrypted files as unencrypted if encryption fails: If the file encryption fails during a copy, this option will copy the file with no encryption to ensure the file is copied.
  • Copy Offline/Stub Files: When these files are copied, the original files that the stubs represent will be recalled from storage to be copied to the target. If the storage is not available, the files will be skipped.
  • Synchronize Archive Bit on Source and Target: This will migrate the archive bit setting of the copied files to the target.
  • Clear Archive bit on source after copying: This ensures that backups will not try to archive files on both the source and target after files are copied.
Advanced Options I
  • Reset last accessed date on source files: This will set the last access date on the source to the date before the copy took place. Last access information is stored when permissions are copied.
  • Synchronize last accessed date and created date on target files: This option will set the last accessed date and the created date on the newly copied target files to match the source files.
  • Synchronize last accessed date and created date on target folders: This option will set the last accessed date and the created date on the newly copied target folders to match the source folders.
  • Verify file copy: This ensures that the copy completed successfully.
  • Thread count: The number of threads to use for this copy job
  • Batch count: Maximum number of files per batch
  • Batch Size: Maximum size of copy batch
  • Retry attempts: Number of times to retry copies
  • Minutes between retries: Time between retry attempts

The thread and batch settings help to determine the overall performance of the copy job; if a batch of files can be cut up into smaller pieces, the performance of the overall job should be improved with less failure likely to occur.

  • Advanced Options II
  • Never compress target files: Turns off compression on the target
  • Always compress target files: Turns on compression on the target
  • Compress if source is compressed: Matches compression of the target to the source
  • Update all ACLs which use SID history: This option will check ACLs against a directory server for copied files.
  • Email notification options: These options allow notifications to be sent to specified parties on completion or failure of a copy job.
File Shares
  • Migrate File shares to destination: Any shares configured on the source server will be migrated to the target with options to handle conflicts
Local Groups and Users
  • Migrate local groups and users to target: Allows you to specify if local user accounts and groups need to be copied. In a domain environment this will likely not be necessary to configure as a part of the option to migrate local users and groups, you can choose which to migrate and where the destinations should be located on the target storage.
Filter Files

This tab allows you to apply a filter to a set of files before copying them. You can specify which files or directories to exclude as well as files to be skipped or included based on created or modified date. Other settings include the recursion level that should be used.

These settings are great for "helping" to clean up any unapproved files before a migration such as mp3 files or iTunes libraries. Keep in mind, checking policy before filtering data is a good idea when excluding files or folders.

This post looked at each tab of the settings for ScriptLogic Secure Copy, but many times the general options, copy location, and filter files sections are all that will be needed to ensure the jobs you schedule work as you need them to, but your mileage may vary here.

Scheduling configured jobs On the top of the Script Logic Secure Copy window there is a selection for scheduling, shown in Figure B. This area allows you to select the days and times that jobs will be run against your sources and destinations by adding them to the task scheduler in Windows.

Figure B

Scheduling jobs in the Windows task scheduler
What about reusing jobs?

Copy jobs can be saved by clicking the save (or save as) buttons on the toolbar. They are stored within the Secure Copy interface for easy configuration tweaking or re-execution.

Testing

The test option allows you to simulate the running of a particular copy job. In my testing I did not find the test option to be very accurate in providing any idea about how long the job would take, but it did prove that the job should finish with no interruptions.

Licensing Note on trial version: When using the trial version, you can only copy files under 1MB in size.

Secure copy leverages scheduled tasks when needed to allow an administrator to easily schedule file copy operations for non-peak use times. This is a feature that I found particularly useful because I didn't need to do any scripting or command line coding with tools like Robocopy to make this work. What can I say, sometimes I still prefer the GUI.

Something else that ScriptLogic Secure Copy does well is permissions and security. Remember that Windows handles permissions differently if the files are copied vs. if the files are moved from the source to the target. While not a huge deal breaker, it can be a bit overwhelming the first couple times you try to get something working. Secure Copy handles permissions quite nicely, making sure that the permissions you started out with on the source are the permissions you end up with once the job completes, providing you the option to change this if needed before the job runs.

When you install Script Logic Secure Copy you should load the application on the source file server you will be copying from (or the destination where files will land) because most of the time the network is faster between servers than to the desktop, and if there is one less step to take during the copy process, things tend to be less intrusive. This is not a requirement, but did seem to allow the application to function much better in testing.

Note on paid version(s): There are three licensed versions of ScriptLogic Secure Copy:

60 day: This version is good for 60 days and is intended for migrations. Once the 60 days are up, the license cannot be extended. All servers, source and destination, are named instances.

90 day: This version is good for 90 days and is intended for migrations.  Once the 90 days are up, the license cannot be extended.   All servers, source and destination, are named instances.

Perpetual: This version is used for frequent file copy between named instances. The license can be used as long as needed, but the source and target are named and cannot change.

For more information on the pricing related to available licenses please visit the Secure Copy product page at ScriptLogic.com.

How I am using it

I will be using a migration (or limited) license of Script Logic Secure Copy and have found the application to be satisfactory. I cannot recommend a mass copy to be run during peak operating hours, although I did run several tests of configured jobs as well as a copy job to get a feel for how things would go. The test runs, which simulate the copy action of the files and folders selected against the source and target hardware, were very fast. The test copies took approximately 10 minutes to simulate a copy of approximately 160GB, while the actual copy of this data took about 3 hours, which was still very reasonable.

ScriptLogic Secure Copy's bottom line

Overall I think that Script Logic Secure Copy is a very straight forward solution for those administrators who aren't looking to use the command line and can be quite affordable when licensed based on specific needs or migration projects. The ability to save specific configurations for file copy jobs and schedule them to be run after hours are two great features that can save busy administrators time in the long run, if the copy jobs are frequent, or allow minimal weekend work for migrations.

About

Derek Schauland has been tinkering with Windows systems since 1997. He has supported Windows NT 4, worked phone support for an ISP, and is currently the IT Manager for a manufacturing company in Wisconsin.

4 comments
mark.sullivan
mark.sullivan

Deltacopy - essentially Rsync for windows - I've been pretty happy with this. Could also use Windows DFS - this has the the particular advantage of being able to apply bandwidth throttling. All of that said, thank you for reviewing the product and givin gyour honest feedback. Always helpful to learn about what's out there.

Derek Schauland
Derek Schauland

I was purely discussing another option in the copy space. I have played with Richcopy and Robocopy but have found this to be an interesting application in this space. Not saying that Robocopy or Richcopy is better or worse, just different.

Gis Bun
Gis Bun

If you are copying/moving/syncing files between 2 [local] servers try either Robocopy (with or without GUI) or Richcopy. Both from Microsoft. Robocopy is already included in recent versions of Windows. No need to spend money.

Gis Bun
Gis Bun

Yes it is but considering that robocopy is included with recent version of Windows [and you can get it for older versions] and it's free and it has a command line interface [which is nice for scripting], it would be more logical to use - especially in small and mid-sized companies. I hwas migrating our user's from one server to a bigger/stronger server and used a scheduled robocopy to copy the files over to the new server overnight and when the server was to go live, all I did was to sync them (which didn't take long). Adjusted the login scripts and presto, everyone were moved over.

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