We are currently on NetApp and use it for SAN and NAS functionality with some basic quota management. We are leaving NetApp for various reasons and thus looking at the NAS solutions by the competitors and find the quota management and reporting leaving much to be desired.
I just started exploring all the various file and share management capabilities of a Windows Server installation. I've known for years about basic sharing of folders on Windows systems but never managing it from the services side of things. These two blog entries gave me a brief outline of what it is capable of and it seems to blow those enterprise NAS hardware/software solutions out of the water. Am I missing something? http://www.zohno.com/articles/2011/11/24/windows-server-2012-file-services/
What we want to do is have shares at various level and quotas as the root and subfolder levels. We want to report on the file usage, know who is using up the most space, have end user feedback that they hit a limit, know which directories are growing the fastest, etc. We also want to implement this all within DFS if possible. We want a common namespace so the user doesn't need to worry about what the IP and systemname is on the backend and we can then sync with our remote sites over the WAN. If they upload data we want it synced locally so we can back it up for them and handle restores.
We realize that DFS can have multiple systems underneath the various subfolders but another question I have is "can it point to NAS solutions from vendors like NetApp and then use the file resource manager tools to manage quotas instead of what those vendors provide? Or is that only managed outside of the DFS host? We are a VMware shop and on fully redundant SAN on the backend with large clusters so reliability and HA are covered from what we have set up.
Sorry for the loaded question. It's hard to find consultants who specialize in managing file shares, DFS, and can accurately compare those to the NAS solutions from NetApp, EMC, Dell, and other NAS providers.