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I can't seem to find an answer to this anywhere.

  • If I want to copy a file from \\server1\ to \\server2\, is it faster to RDP to that machine and do the copy there?
  • If I initiate the copy from my desktop, is the data traversing the network twice (using my desktop as an intermediary), or does SMB know enough to redirect the request and run it from server-server directly?

Please note, I am not inquiring about the storage layer (I'm aware of ODX). Assume both storage mediums are local storage. I'm just trying to determine how Windows handles it, regardless of what kind of disk is used.

Thanks!

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If you're on workstation C and issue a copy command from server1 to server2, all the bits will travel from server1 to workstation C to server2. So yes, if you've got any significant amount of data, it will be faster to issue the command from either server1 or server2 directly.

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If I want to copy a file from \server1\ to \server2\, is it faster to RDP to that machine and do the copy there?

Yes: It is faster to start the process on one of the servers.

No: you don't have to use RDP for that.

If I initiate the copy from my desktop, is the data traversing the network twice (using my desktop as an intermediary)

Depends on how you initiate the transfer. If you just open both fileservers and start copy job from A to B, it will (by default) use your machine.

If you initiate the transfer using PowerShell remotin, psexec or other RPC tools, it will not.

or does SMB know enough to redirect the request and run it from server-server directly?

Not by itself, no. This just works for local storages where the FS drivers is capable of offloading.

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