I have a Domain Controller that is currently only used for Active Directory and authenticating users to login to the Domain. The built in hard drives are very small in size.

Fast forward, I decided to use this server also as a file server. For this, we have a NAS drive of size 12 TB that is connected to the network.

What I want is to make the 12 TB hard drive to be part of the Domain and appear in the windows server as if it was a hard drive inside the computer so that I can create files and give permissions to users on specific files and deny others etc.

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    Any chance you could not use this box as a file server? That's generally discouraged for many reasons, not least of which is security. – Spooler Jan 29 '17 at 9:38
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    Could you clarify what NAS you are using, OS type? – Stuka Jan 31 '17 at 9:17

Since it is required to add storage to Windows Server for configuration a kind of file share, I would suggest you take a look at StarWind Virtual SAN Free. It does iSCSI storage on top of local one thus it can be connected to any of your servers using iSCSI initiator. Moreover, StarWind allows the creation of HA storage in case you would require having some.Check the how-to guide here.

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Export the drive via iSCSI (most Linux-based NAS systems should do it), mount it on the DC using iscsicpl, then the drive appears as a block device, create filesystems, shares, that's it.

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Without knowing the details of the NAS, its impossible to talk in full details.

I'd say that your best bet for making this work is using it as an iSCSI disk connected to the server, which can then allow the server to use the storage as if it was local to the server.

HOWEVER there are a few issues with this:

  • You are either shipping iSCSI traffic across your main LAN, which has the potential for both security and operational problems...
  • ...OR you're multihoming the networking on a DC to connect to the NAS on a dedicated network link, which will cause all kinds of problems; DCs don't like to be multihomed.
  • You're talking about users losing connection to the files on the NAS needlessly if there's a temporary issue with the DC.

Instead, if this is a decent NAS, it should be able to "join" the domain as a file server in some capacity and share files directly, using security groups and settings from the domain without too much trouble.

If your NAS supports joining the domain this is what you should do. If it's not the kind of NAS that can handle joining a windows domain directly then it's probably not a very good NAS (being able to integrate into an existing network is fairly basic functionality on any competent business NAS these days) and even if such a low-end device claimed to support iSCSI I'm not sure I'd trust it.

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