How To Enable Deduplication In Windows Server 2012

Deduplication is a new feature in Windows Server 2012, which deduplicates files at a block level on Windows Server 2012 File Servers. To enable Deduplication on a Windows Server 2012 File Server, do the following:

  1. Open Windows Server 2012 Server Manager
  2. Install the Data Deduplication role and associated required role services (It’s actually a role: File And Storage Services -> File Services -> File Server)
  3. In Windows Server 2012 Server Manager, click on File and Storage Services
  4. Right click on the server and click Deduplication Schedule
  5. Set-up the required deduplicaton schedule (Background optimization may be sufficient) and click OK
  6. In Windows Server 2012 Server Manager, under Volumes, right click the volume you would like to enable Deduplication on and click Enable Deduplication.
  7. Tick the box to enable data duplication. You may wish to change the number of days that the files have to be older than to be deduplicated and set any specific file or folder exclusions before clicking OK

You now know how to enable data Deduplication in Windows Server 2012 File Server. But to see deduplication happening on your volume, you have to wait for the schedule to run (or wait for the background optimization to finish). Alternatively, you can kick start deduplication using PowerShell commands.

To manage Deduplication from the PowerShell, in Windows Server 2012 Server Manager, click Tools (at the top right hand corner) and Windows PowerShell ISE. Next, import the PowerShell Deduplication module with this command: Import-Module Deduplication

To see how many files have been deduplicated and how much data has been saved, type:

Get-DedupStatus

To start the deduplication job, type:

Start-DedupJob -Type Optimization  -Volume X

Where X is theletter of the volume you want to deduplicate, ie. X could equal e:  (Note that you must have enabled deduplication prior to running this). You will then be able to check the status of the deduplication job by running the following PowerShell command:

Get-DedupJob

This concludes my tutorial on how to enable Deduplication in Windows Server 2012. If you have any problems or information to share, please leave a comment below.

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