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home drive - personal storage

Posted on 2011-09-05
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
If I right click my networked home drive in my computer what exactly is it showing me in terms of “free space” and total size. For example, if I add up my documents in my home drive it’s about 2 GB, yet right clicking on my home drive shows 180 out of 320 GB free.

How are home drives “managed” in terms of what storage each user will get, and subsequently, how can I see my personal share of this total storage and how much I have left or how close am I to capacity?
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Question by:pma111
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 36484324
Unless quotas are used, the home drive size and used space will be equal to the TOTAL logical drive letter size and TOTAL used space by all users.  If quotas are in place, then it's based on file ownership and the quota set for you.
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by:pma111
ID: 36484641
Hi thanks for the reply where could I check quota information?

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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 36484816
On the server - right click on the logical drive and select properties - quotas should be an option (going from memory here).

But if it's saying you have 320 GB total, that's a common drive size - I doubt you have quotas - it's reporting TOTAL disk space used and TOTAL drive size.
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by:pma111
ID: 36484833
Isn't that poor practice though if someone could have huge storage and an other have minute storage. My collegue just very childishly said its like someone saying 'I've bigger balls than you so I need bigger pants' lol. What's best practice in this area?
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 36484863
Quotas enforce limits on users... Unless you have PETABYTES of storage (say, working a research lab that generates gigabytes on a daily basis), I would be shocked if someone set your quota to 320 GB.  In which case, there are no limits for you and your colleagues other than TOTAL disk size.  Yes, you could store one MP3 file and one of your colleagues could store 40 hours of high-quality video of his family vacation... is it unfair?  Only if you need the storage and can't use it because he's storing the video.

If you WANT to implement quotas, you can.  Then it's based on file ownership.  The total drive size reported on your mapped network drive should be equal to the quota.  The total amount of space used by you should be equal to the sum of the file sizes for all files that list you as the file owner.  (You are the file owner if you created the file, last saved the file, or "copied or moved" the file to the drive in the first place.  If an admin saves a large file to YOUR folder, than the quota space used is against the admin's quota - NOT YOURS.  

NOTE: this is all based on user quotas which have been available in Windows since 2000.  There are folder based quotas available since 2003 R2, however, I've not really used them personally and can't be certain the behavior is the same.
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by:pma111
ID: 36484874
Is quotas quite a rare thing then? Not common place
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 36484912
I wouldn't say they are rare... it depends on who sets up the network, their policies and experiences, the corporate policies in place (especially in larger organizations), and the need to limit abuse or potential abuse of the storage resource.  This is a rough and unscientific guess, but I'd say 10-20% of networks utilize quotas in some areas.  (based on my experience).

(People often don't know about the feature).
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by:pma111
ID: 36484921
Could you help build a case of the negative consequences of not using quotas? Does enforcing them become an admins nightmare?
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Lee W, MVP earned 500 total points
ID: 36484972
Using quotas depends on your needs.  Again, if people are abusing storage resources, then you might want to implement them - besides using space and making it not available to others, the data stored needs to be backed up which can increase backup time and costs of tape or other media.

You can enable quotas without enforcing them and see who (again, based on file ownership) is using up all the disk space.  NOTE: sometimes admins "take ownership" to gain necessary access to files - if they do this, it skews the quota values since now the admins "own" the data.  When you have limited resources, quotas make sense.  

For example, if you have 3 classes of data - CRITICAL, Important, unimportant (relatively speaking), then maybe you don't backup the unimportant often and you use cheap SATA drives without RAID.  This allows you to provide lots of storage at low costs so putting a quota on it may not make sense.  The Important data may be on a set of server class SATA drives with RAID... this "drive" may have quotas enabled but not enforced so you can get a quick report of who is using the space and "yell at them" if they use too much or others need space and there's not enough because a few people are using too much.  Finally, the critical data could be on FAST, EXPENSIVE SAS drives in a RAID 10 and so you might want to limit the initial amounts of data all users can store there so you ensure everyone has enough space to store their critical data.  

Making a case depends on what your business does, how abusive of the resources your employees are, what kind of authority the IT department has to dictate to the users (IT should SUPPORT the user needs - but this is best done on a management level - managers in other areas should go to IT and have systems put in place to better support their staff within budgetary constraints.  In a research environment, researches can sometimes DICTATE to the IT department what they need and as long as they can provide the money, the IT department may HAVE to do as requested.
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by:pma111
ID: 36484983
Thanks so much. In your opinion would make a fair quota
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by:pma111
ID: 36484992
In terms of mb or gb that was
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 36485004
REALLY depends on the business.  And the quotas can be different for different users... Secretaries may need only a few hundred MB or a GB or two... but CAD designers may need MANY GBs.  It really depends on the business and the users.  Speak to their managers and the users themselves and analyze what they currently use.  From that, you can determine what should be fair.

If EVERYONE had the same needs, then I would take the total disk space, divide by the user count, and that's the quota.
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