Migration of Departmental File Services

Many faculty and staff in Brown departments currently use Department File Services to share files with others in their departments and back up files (instead of keeping them on local hard drives, which can lead to data loss). Over the next month, CIS will be upgrading the technology behind Department File Services to provide an improved experience, reliability, and more space.

What to expect

Before and after the migration, you will receive an email from your departmental computing representative (ITSC or DCC) with the date of the migration and instructions for accessing your Departmental File Services after the migration. File shares will be unavailable from midnight until approximately 8AM on the day of your migration, so you should save and close all open shared files before the migration begins.

Accessing shared drives after migration

Most Windows users with Brown-owned computers will not need to take action; the shared S: and U: drives on your computers will automatically be mapped to the new location the first time you restart your computer after the migration. If you connected manually and the change doesn't happen automatically, see Connecting to Departmental File Services on Windows.

Since Mac users connect manually, they will need to use updated addresses to connect to shared drives. These updated addresses start with smb:// files.brown.edu/dfs/. For full instructions, see Connecting to Departmental File Services on a Mac.

File permissions

Though the permissions of files will not change, please note that people will now only be able to view files they can access. This should reduce confusion.

Restoring backed-up copies of DFS files

You will have access to snapshots/backups of your files; hourly backups can be accessed for 48 hours, daily backups are kept for 6 weeks, and monthly backups are kept for 6 months.  For instructions, see the following articles:

Future plans

During another upcoming project, we will be able to redirect Windows users’ My Documents and Desktop folders to this storage, making it even easier for Brown to prevent data loss while still being able to work on files offline.