Re: EMC Unity – Remove Tenant from a File System

First, let’s get some terms straight:

Unity, and other NAS systems don’t have tenants, they have CIFS/SMB or NFS Servers, which have filesystems which contain data. Those are made accessible to users using NFS exports or SMB shares, or in some cases both. The access to the data is controlled by filesystem permissions, either POSIX permission bits, NTFS ACLs or both in some cases.


In most M&A situations you’re going to do a few things.

1. You’re going to do a directory services migration, moving users from AQUIREDCOMPANYjsmith to PARENTCORPJoe.smith, or something along those lines.

2. You’re going to consolidate datacenters and hardware where it makes sense.

3. You’ll eventually end up likely merging File services together, which I assume is what you’re asking about.

When you merge together 2 CIFS servers, let’s say CIFS01.AQUIREDCOMPANY.NET into NAS05.PARENTCORP.NET you’ll need to first check to see if there are any overlapping share names. Is there a share called Legal on the source, and another one called Legal on the target? If so, that’ll be a problem for login scripts, manual drive mappings, etc. Unless you’re able to say that they both now belong to the same team, so it’s OK to collapse the 2 together. But then you have to be really careful, and use a tool to do the migration that’s capable of doing so.


The end goal of a consolidation is to simplify long-term administration of file services. But as you can hopefully start to pick up on above, it’s a rough road to traverse, and it’s not as easy as a technical Q&A, many of the questions are about your organizational structure, you’re security standards, your authentication configuration, and a number of other variables.

But that’s not to say that you can’t run multiple NAS servers on the same unity box, you certainly can. You could even keep the network configuration the same if you can trunk in both VLANs to the target device, and make it all look pretty seamless. You’re left with a mess long-term, but if we’re just talking about a couple of NAS Servers / CIFS Servers, sometimes the consolidation isn’t worth the hassle.

In Summary:

Hope this makes sense, and FWIW shameless plug, my company Datadobi, does make the best file migration software on the market, that is API Integrated with DellEMC Unity and other systems, can re-permission data like this during the migration, and consolidate top-level directory structures together, like the 2 legal shares example I mentioned above. Anyway reach out if you’d like to explore how it may be helpful in such a situation.

~Chris Klosterman

Principal SE, Datadobi


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