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Quota and Quota Template

How to Implement File System Quotas in Windows Server

Organizations can curb data growth by placing quotas on their file servers. Here's how to set up File System Quotas in Windows Server.

Although storage vendors seem to offer ever-larger hard disks with each passing year, and data reduction technologies such as deduplication help to reduce the storage footprint of a dataset, it is still important for organizations to use their storage efficiently. After all, there is a direct cost associated with storing, backing up and protecting data. One of the ways in which organizations can help to curb data growth is by placing file system quotas on their servers. Windows Server offers a built-in tool called the File Server Resource Manager that can do exactly that.

To create a quota, open the File Server Resource Manager tool by selecting it from the Server Manager’s list of tools. Once the console opens, expand the Quota Management container.

in Figure 1, below, you can see that there are two sub-containers beneath the Quota Management container. One of these containers is labeled Quotas, while the other is called Quota Templates.


Figure 1

Quotas can be created and managed through the File Server Resource Manager console.

Quotas are based on quota templates. A quota template defines a size limit and controls what will happen when that limit is reached. Quotas, on the other hand, apply a quota template to a specific path. So with that in mind, let’s take a look at the anatomy of a quota template.

If you look at Figure 2, you can see that there are several quota templates that exist by default. These quota templates can be used as is, or they can be modified to meet your needs. You can, of course, also create additional quota templates.

Figure 2

There are a number of built-in quota templates.

As you look at this screen capture, there are a few things worth paying attention to. First, you will notice that quotas are defined as being either a hard quota or a soft quota. Hard quotas are enforced, while soft quotas are used more for testing or for informational purposes.

Another thing that you might have noticed in the figure is that one of the quota templates is defined as a 200 MB limit with a 50 MB extension. This is essentially just a template for a 200 MB hard quota. However, once a quota has been reached, the quota template can instruct Windows to take some sort of action such as sending an e-mail message or running a command. The template uses such a command to automatically extend the quota.

Here's how it works. 

If you right click on the quota template and select the Edit Template Properties command from the shortcut menu, you are taken to a screen similar to the one shown in Figure 3. Notice in the figure that the quota template not only specifies a size limit, but also defines actions to be taken as the user comes close to reaching the quota limit. An e-mail warning message is sent when 85 percent of the space is used up. Another warning is e-mailed to the user when 95 percent of his or her space is gone. An entry is also added to the event log. When the full quota limit is eventually reached, yet another e-mail message is sent and event log entry is generated. This time, however, a command is also run. Incidentally, all of these behaviors are customizable.

Figure 3

This is what the quota template looks like.

If you select the Warning 100% option and click Edit, you are taken to the dialog box shown in Figure 4. This dialog box controls the behaviors that occur when the limit is reached. Here you can see the e-mail message that is to be sent. If you look at the Command tab, however, you can see that this quota template is set to automatically extend the quota by means of applying a different quota template. (Figure 5).

Figure 4

This is where you can customize the e-mail message that is sent when the quota limit is reached.

Figure 5

The Command tab is configured to execute an extension command when the quota limit is reached.

As previously mentioned, quota templates simply define behaviors. Quotas, on the other hand, link a quota template to a file path. You can create a quota by right clicking on the Quotas container and selecting the Create Quota command from the shortcut menu. As you can see in Figure 6, the resulting Create Quotas dialog box prompts you to enter a quota path and to select a quota template.

Figure 6

Quotas apply a quota template to a file path.

Once you populate the Create Quotas dialog box, you can use the summary section at the bottom to verify the quota settings before you click Create.



TAGS: Storage
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