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File Server Resource Manager (December 6, 2005)

Please note:Portions of this transcript have been edited for clarity

Introduction

Dori Richardson (Moderator):
Thank you for joining us today for our File Server Resource Manager chat. Feel free to submit your questions at this time.

Start of chat:

CLaw [MSFT] (Expert):
Q:
Is it possible to script FSRM configuration operations?
A: Yes, we provide three command line utilities that allow you to configure quota, file screening, and storage reports (dirquota, filescrn, and storrept, respectively).

Georgi Matev[MSFT] (Expert):
Q:
Will there be a MOM pack for FSRM?
A: Yes. There will be a Microsoft Operations Manager pack for FSRM. The rules for monitoring the FSRM will be integrated with the rules in the Base OS management pack. The updated MOM pack will be available early next year.

CLaw [MSFT] (Expert):
Q:
Is it possible to set group-policy for storage?
A: Not at the present time with the feature as shipped in R2. We are looking into implementing this in future versions.

Ran Kalach [MSFT] (Expert):
Q:
Is there a public scriptable API for FSRM?
A: FSRM has command line tools - dirquota.exe , filescrn.exe and storrept.exe which you can use for scripting. One more thing - the APIs themselves are not public - we plan to publish them in a future Windows release.

Georgi Matev[MSFT] (Expert):
Q:
How do the new quota and file filtering functions interact with offline files? Can you impose these on folders that will sync?
A: Good question. You will be able to set screening on folders on the server which are available offline on the client. Then, when the folder syncs, the screening rules will be enforced.

Ran Kalach [MSFT] (Expert):
Q:
Can I move my old quota settings to the new function in w2k3r2?
A: You will have to do it manually. The old quota are per-user quota on a volume wide scope.You will need to see whether the FSRM quotas which are for all users per folder fit your scenario(If your scenario is something like user home directories, then there is an easy transition from one to the other).

CLaw [MSFT] (Expert):
Q:
How does this work with the e-mail notifications in FSRM?
A: You can set e-mail notifications to be triggered when a particular quota threshold is hit, or when an attempt to write a screened file is made. You can custom set the message in the e-mails to provide relevant information about the event.

Jim Benton [MSFT] (Expert):
Q:
Is file-screening-only based only on file names or file content as well?
A: Screening is based on file name pattern matching, not file content. We are investigating adding content based screening in the next version.

Jim Benton [MSFT] (Expert):
Q:
Will FSRM be able to move/archive data to a different storage location? i.e. all workspace data that has not been accessed in the past 3 years move to...?
A: You can use FSRM reports feature to identify the files that are candidates for archiving, but FSRM does not offer or integrate with any direct archiving features.

Georgi Matev[MSFT] (Expert):
Q:
Can the templates be ported/re-deployed to multiple servers?
A: This is not directly possible through the FSRM GUI, but it is easy to script by using the template import/export functionality with the FSRM command line tools. You can find details on this in a recent post on the R2 blog http://blogs.dirteam.com/blogs/r2/archive/2005/11/19/104.aspx

Ran Kalach [MSFT] (Expert):
Q:
Is FSRM new, or is it based on a third-party product?
A: It is new, all written here in Microsoft.

Georgi Matev[MSFT] (Expert):
Q:
If I set a hard quota limit on a users folder that is set to sync, what happens if they exceed the limit while offline, then attempt to re-sync?
A: They will not be allowed to sync the files which exceed the quota limit.

Ran Kalach [MSFT] (Expert):
Q:
Can you aggregate reporting. i.e. if a user owns files in four separate storage locations, does the reporting allow you to parse that?
A: Reports bypass user ownership - FSRM Storage Reports will report on every file which match the criteria regardless of who owns it or which application has it open. As far as aggregation, you can add multiple name-spaces to the same report, across volumes, or in the same volume. In this release, we don't support aggregation across machines though.

Georgi Matev[MSFT] (Expert):
Q:
Does the quote limit have something to do with the volume shadow copies for a file the user is the owner of? Or is the file only triggered once?
A: Quota usage tracking is independent of volume shadow copies.

Jim Benton [MSFT] (Expert):
Q:
Are changes in the DFS ? With the replication?
A: I assume you are asking about FSRM interop with DFS-Replication? If there is a hard quota on the root of the volume where DFS-R is replicating, and the quota limit is too low, this can cause DFS-R performance problems as it retries the replication operations. There will be a KB article released soon with recommendations on setting quota limits for these circumstances.

CLaw [MSFT] (Expert):
Q:
Will it be possible to override default quota set on the subdirs of a folder to allow an exception for certain of these subdirs?
A: No. A particular directory always receives the most restrictive quota of the quotas that are set on it or its parent directories. Exceptions are possible under file screening however.

Ran Kalach [MSFT] (Expert):
Q:
What kind of performance impact can we expect using this new quota feature?
A: Worst case should be around 10% perf degradation on the I/O path.

Ran Kalach [MSFT] (Expert):
Q:
What kind of performance impact can we expect using the new file screening function? Does is matter how many file types are excluded?
A: The file screening filter is filtering only on Create/Rename, therefore, you should not see any perf impact.It doesn't matter how many file types are excluded unless you start talking about a really large number of file types (in the thousands).

Georgi Matev[MSFT] (Expert):
Q:
What types of documentation are planned for FSRM?
A: There will be in-the-box documentation (FSRM.chm) which will explain the basics of FSRM and help administrators navigate through the FSRM management console. More detailed documentation on deployment, common scenarios, etc. can be found at http://technet2.microsoft.com/windowsserver/en/r2.mspx. Another good source of information on FSRM and R2 in general is the R2 blog at http://blogs.dirteam.com/blogs/r2/

Ran Kalach [MSFT] (Expert):
Q:
If I configure DFS with multiple references (e.g. a main share at a branch office and a central replica for backup and fallback reasons), will it be possible to also replicate the quota settings or does it need scripting?
A: Replicating the quota settings according to DFS-N and DFS-R settings automatically is something we plan to do in a future Windows release. In R2, you will have to do it manually, possibly with scripting.(and yes, we highly recommend keeping the exact quota settings if you replicate. Otherwise, the replication can have all kind of failures).

Georgi Matev[MSFT] (Expert):
Q:
Can you provide a link to the latest info on FSRM?
A: You can find the latest info on FSRM and other W2K3 R2 components at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/default.mspx

CLaw [MSFT] (Expert):
Q:
Can R2 quota and file filtering be used on an upgraded 2003 server still in a Windows 2000 domain, or does the entire domain need to be upgraded to 2003?
A: You can use quota and file screening on any Server 2003 R2 machine. It does not matter if the domain is Windows 2000.

Jim Benton [MSFT] (Expert):
Q:
Do file screens work on file extension or file signature?
A: Screening works by matching file name patterns. Signature/content screening is under investigation for a future release.

Georgi Matev[MSFT] (Expert):
Q:
Which reports can we create in FSRM?
A: With FSRM in W2K3 R2 there is a predefined set of report that you can create. These include the following: Large Files, Least Recently Used Files, Most Recently Used Files, Files by Owner, Files by File Group, Duplicate Files, Quota Usage and File Screen Audit. While the reports available through FSRM are predefined, administrators can configure the scope for each report (one or more volumes, specific folders), the report format (HTML, TXT, CSV, XML), and other filtering parameters specific to each report type.

Jim Benton [MSFT] (Expert):
Q:
Can I install the new MMC and FSRM on my Windows XP SP2 admin Workstation to manage my Fileserver remotely?
A: Yes, there is an "admin pack" included in R2 which installs MMC and the R2 snap-ins on the client workstation.

CLaw [MSFT] (Expert):
Q:
Will the command line tools like dirquota.exe be extended to allow the application of quotas on remote servers?
A: You already can use dirquota.exe and filescrn.exe to configure quota and screening on remote servers. Most of the commands have a /remote:MACHINENAME switch that allows you to do this.

CLaw [MSFT] (Expert):
Q:
Addendum to above question: just tried the remote switch on dirquota. It works, but there is no reference to this switch in the /?
A: What was the specific command that you tried? We tried to list /remote in all places where it was applicable.

CLaw [MSFT] (Expert):
Q:
dirquota /?
A: You'll see the /remote switch if you look at the help text of more specific subcommands of dirquota (i.e. dirquota quota add /?).

CLaw [MSFT] (Expert):
Q:
Can I configure quota settings remotely (adminpak) or can I only set them by command line or when I am logged in @ the fileserver interactive?
A: You can do all 3: remote through MMC, remote through command line, or interactive session on the server.

CLaw [MSFT] (Expert):
Q:
Do tmp files affect the quota limits set?
A: tmp files are treated just like any other files.

Georgi Matev[MSFT] (Expert):
Q:
Is the FSRM only work with NTFS?
A: This is correct. FSRM only works on NTFS formatted volumes.

Ran Kalach [MSFT] (Expert):
Q:
Are all these settings (quota and file screening filter ) backed up with the system state? How do you make a backup or restore?
A: The settings which apply to a specific volume (quota, screening) are stored on the volume will be backed up when you backup the volume. The settings which apply to the entire system (reports, file-groups, templates, global settings) will be backed up as part of system-state. FSRM has a VSS (volume shadow copy) writer.

Georgi Matev[MSFT] (Expert):
Q:
Where are the FSRM settings stored? How do you make a backup or restore?
A: FSRM settings are stored under System Volume Information on the system volume and any volume under FSRM management. Backup and restore of FSRM configuration is supported through the VSS writer infrastructure and backup products that take advantage of it. The FSRM VSS writer reports the settings as part of system state.

Ran Kalach [MSFT] (Expert):
Q:
As I understand it, MSFT is pushing SharePoint to be the place were we all place our files in the future, so what can we expect ...will there be an interaction with FSRM and WSS / SPS?
A: WSS/SPS have their own quota mechanism right now. Some sort of integration between WSS and FSRM is something we are looking at for a future Windows release.

Georgi Matev[MSFT] (Expert):
Q:
Is it able to implement the FSRM in a software raid 0 or 1?
A: If I understand correctly, the question is whether you can manage with FSRM volumes which are implemented on top of software RAID 0 or RAOD 1. If this is correct then the answer is yes. You can manage any volume formatted with NTFS.

Dori Richardson (Moderator):
Thank you for joining us today on a Microsoft Community Chat to talk about FSRM. We will be wrapping this up in just a couple of minutes. Please feel free to submit any last questions you may have.

Adi Oltean [MSFT] (Expert):
Q:
Will R2 release this month?
A: R2 was just released to manufacturing a few hours ago. Please see http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/default.mspx for more details.

Georgi Matev[MSFT] (Expert):
Q:
Perhaps you won't answer that... but I try...when will W2k3R2 be in our hands?
A: I have some good news. W2K3 R2 was released to manufacturing TODAY and general availability should be early next year. At the end of the chat we are going to provide a link to watch the R2 launch webcast.

Georgi Matev[MSFT] (Expert):
Thank you all for joining us today. I hope you found this chat useful and learned some more about File Server Resource Manager and how it can help you manage storage more efficiently.

Dori Richardson (Moderator):
If you would like further information on this topic please visit the following URL(s): http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/r2launch.mspx. We also did a chat on DFS-R on October 27th. You can read the transcript at:
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/community/chats/trans/default.mspx

Dori Richardson (Moderator):
Also check out this new blog: http://blogs.dirteam.com/blogs/r2/

Dori Richardson (Moderator):
Don’t forget to let us know how we’re doing! To the right of your emoticon pull-down box is a “Chat Feedback” option. Please take a moment to share your thoughts on today’s chat. Thanks again for joining us today!

CLaw [MSFT] (Expert):
Thanks for coming to chat with us and giving us these great questions!