Create screens and file server quotas in FSRM

File servers may not be the most glamorous systems to manage, but they are among the most important. Even with the popularity of collaboration tools such as SharePoint and cloud-based storage-as-a-service offerings, commodity file servers still play a vital role in the daily lives of data center administrators.

System administrators need an easy and efficient way to manage storage, and Microsoft provides that with the File Server Resource Manager (FSRM) role. Add the role to any Windows server to gain more information and control over the files stored there.

Specific FSRM services include the following:

  • Quota management
  • Manage Folder Filtering
  • Managing Storage Reports
  • Ranking management
  • File management tasks

Install FSRM

Install FSRM by adding it as a Windows Server role.

In Server Manager, use the Add roles and features component to add FSRM. FSRM appears in the Roles list under File and storage services, File Services and iSCSI. Add suggested features when prompted.

However, it’s probably faster to install FSRM via PowerShell. Use this cmdlet:

Install-WindowsFeature -Name FS-Resource-Manager -IncludeManagementTools

Once installed, you can open FSRM from the Tools menu in Server Manager.

After installing FSRM, first filter the files.

Manage Folder Filtering

Many organizations have written policies covering the type of data that can be stored on company systems. However, having a policy is different from to apply A typeface. It is not difficult to provide a policy document to users informing them that storing music files or other data on company file servers is not permitted, but how can an organization confirm that the servers are free of this content? Better yet, how does it prevent users from storing it there in the first place?

This is where FSRM file filtering comes in. Administrators can configure allowed and disallowed file types, identified by file extension, on specific folders. FSRM then blocks these files from being stored in these folders. Using the written policy as a guide, administrators can enforce guidelines and manage data stored on the file server.

Microsoft provides several file filter templates that cover most uses:

  • Block audio and video files
  • Block mail files
  • Block executable files
  • Block image files
  • Monitor executable and system files

Apply or create a screen

To apply an existing screen, select Manage Folder Filteringthen select Create a file screen from Stock menu. The system should then prompt you to navigate to the desired folder and choose a template before selecting Create.

You can use a template when applying a new file filter or create a custom one.

However, administrators can also customize file filters to apply policies more efficiently. From Stock menu, select Create a file screen templateand name the model. Then select File groups to manage, specifying particular file types to monitor.

Creating a new file filter template
You can choose between active and passive filtering to determine the stringency of your folder filtering.

You can edit these filegroups to define exceptions or add custom file extensions. For example, you can exclude PDF files from filtering when using a custom Office file template.

Filegroup properties for Office files
Exclude certain file types from your screen to create exceptions.

FSRM provides many file groups, but you may choose to create your own if you are dealing with uncommon file types or need to ensure that only certain file types are placed in certain locations. Create groups of files by selecting the File groups node and choosing Create a group of files from Stock menu.

Consider how screens help organize data. For example, if an organization uses background music for a product, that music must be in MP3 format. Set the folder that stores music with a screen that only allows MP3 file type to be stored there.

Quota management

Quotas allow administrators to control the amount of storage capacity consumed by users. Until the advent of FSRM, Windows relied on the New Technology File System (NTFS) quota feature. NTFS quotas only apply per partition, making granular control difficult.

Administrators configure FSRM quotas per folder. FSRM includes communication mechanisms to notify users, help desk, and administrators of quota limits.

FSRM provides several quota templates that can be applied to existing folders.

List of Quota Templates
Start with a quota template to create a custom quota.

To create a custom quota, start by creating a custom template from the Stock menu.

Create a quota template
Choose between hard and soft quotas to determine how strictly the system will enforce a quota.

One of the available parameters is Hard Where Soft, tender quotas. FSRM strictly enforces strict quotas and actively prevents users from exceeding the set limit. Soft quotas, on the other hand, are not enforced. Administrators can use soft quotas to collect space usage information and notify users when they approach a hard quota limit.

After creating or choosing a quota template, select the Quotas node, then choose Create a quota from Stock menu. Select the folder you want to manage and the quota template to apply.

Set a 15 GB limit
You can apply a custom quota of 15 GB to the C:Projects folder as a hard quota.

FSRM displays the applied quotas in the Quota node window and summarizes the current quota status.

Quota node window
View quota information and current quota status in the Quota node window.

Quota Warnings

One of the most useful parts of FSRM quotas is FSRM’s ability to notify users when they are approaching their quota limit. In the quota properties, select To add, and set a notification threshold, and which users or groups to notify. FSRM provides a default message, but you can also customize the email message.

In addition to notifying the user, the quota system can send messages to helpdesk technicians, who can then proactively contact users to help them remove unnecessary files. This approach helps prevent users from being blocked when they reach a hard quota limit.

Set automatic quota warning response
Create a custom message to send to service desk users, administrators, and technicians when a quota reaches its limit.

FSRM is a powerful tool to help administrators control, classify, and report on the data stored on their file servers. File filtering and quota features make it easy to manage what consumes storage space on the server and control how users use space. By setting screens and quotas per folder, FSRM gives file server administrators the ability to enforce policies and organize data.

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