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Working with Quotas

Published: May 4, 2009

Applies To: Windows Server 2008 R2

By using File Server Resource Manager to create a quota for a volume or folder, you can limit the disk space that is allocated for it. The quota limit applies to the entire folder subtree.

You can create a hard quota or a soft quota:

  • A hard quota prevents users from saving files after the space limit is reached, and it generates notifications when the volume of data reaches each configured threshold.

  • A soft quota does not enforce the quota limit, but it generates all the configured notifications.

To determine what happens when the quota limit approaches, you can configure notification thresholds. For each threshold that you define, you can send e-mail notifications, log an event, run a command or script, or generate storage reports. For example, you might want to notify the administrator and the user who saved the file when a folder reaches 85 percent of its quota limit, and then send another notification when the quota limit is reached. In some cases, you might want to run a script that raises the quota limit automatically when a threshold is reached.

When you create a quota on a volume or a folder, you can base the quota on a quota template or use custom properties. We recommend that, whenever possible, you base a quota on a quota template. A quota template can be reused for creating additional quotas, and it simplifies ongoing quota maintenance.

File Server Resource Manager can also generate quotas automatically. When you configure an auto apply quota, you apply a quota template to a parent volume or folder. A quota based on the template is then created for each of the existing subfolders, and a quota is automatically generated for each new subfolder that is created.

In this section:

The following table outlines the advantages of using the quota management tools in File Server Resource Manager rather than using NTFS disk quotas.

Advantages of Using File Server Resource Manager

Quota Features File Server Resource Manager NTFS Disk Quotas

Quota tracking

By folder or by volume

Per user on a volume

Disk usage calculation

Actual disk space

Logical file size

Notification mechanisms

E-mail, custom reports, running commands or scripts, event logs

Event logs only

File Server Resource Manager gives you flexibility in creating, using, and managing templates, for both quotas and file screens.

A quota template defines a space limit, the type of quota (hard or soft), and a set of notifications to be generated when the quota limit approaches or is exceeded.

Quota templates simplify the creation and maintenance of quotas:

  • By using a quota template, you can apply a standard storage limit and a standard set of notification thresholds to many volumes and folders on servers throughout your organization.

  • If you base your quotas on a template, you can automatically update all quotas that are based on a specific template by editing that template. This feature simplifies the process of updating the properties of quotas by providing a central point where IT administrators can make all changes.

For example, you can create a User Quota template that you use to place a 200 MB limit on the personal folder of each user. For each user, you would then create a quota based on the User Quota template and assign it to the user’s folder. If you later decide to allow each user additional space on the server, you simply change the space limit in the User Quota template and choose to automatically update each quota that is based on that quota template.

File Server Resource Manager provides several quota templates. For example:

  • You can use the 200 MB Limit Reports to User template to place a hard 200 MB limit on the personal folder of each user.

  • For some folders, you might want to use the 200 MB Limit with 50 MB Extension template to automatically increase the quota limit when a 200 MB quota limit is reached.

  • Other default templates are designed for monitoring disk usage through soft quotas—for example, the Monitor 200 GB Volume Usage template and the Monitor 500 MB Share template. When you use these templates, users can exceed the quota limit, but e-mail and event log notifications are generated when they do so.

To view the default templates, click the Quota Templates node in the File Server Resource Manager console tree.

The following procedure guides you through the process of creating a quota that is based on a template (this is the recommended practice).

  1. In Quota Management, click the Quota Templates node.

  2. In the results pane, select the template on which you will base your quota.

  3. Right-click the template and click Create Quota from Template (or click Create Quota from Template in the Actions pane). This opens the Create Quota dialog box with the summary properties of the quota template displayed.

  4. Under Quota path, type or browse to the volume or folder that the quota will apply to.

  5. Click the Create quota on path option. Note that the quota properties will apply to the entire volume or folder.

  6. Under Derive properties from this quota template, the template you used in step 2 to create your new quota is preselected (or you can select another template from the list). Note that the properties of the template are displayed under Summary of quota properties.

  7. Click Create.

noteNote
If you do not want to base your quota on a template, or if you want to edit the properties that were copied from a template, in the Create Quota dialog box you can choose Define custom quota properties, and then click Custom Properties. Note that if you create a quota with custom properties, you have the option of saving a quota template with the custom quota settings. If you choose that option, a new template is saved, and then the template is applied to the new quota so that a link is maintained between the quota and the template.

The following procedure guides you through the process of creating a new quota template.

  1. In Quota Management, click the Quota Templates node.

  2. Right-click Quota Templates, and then click Create Quota Template (or click Create Quota Template in the Actions pane).

  3. If you want to copy the properties of an existing template to use as a base for your new template, select a template from the Copy properties from quota template drop-down list. Then click Copy.

  4. In the Template Name text box, enter a name for the new template.

  5. In the Label text box, enter an optional descriptive label that will appear next to any quotas that are derived from the template.

  6. Under Space Limit:

    1. In the Limit text box, enter a number and choose a unit (KB, MB, GB, or TB) to specify the space limit for the quota.

    2. Click the Hard quota or Soft quota option. (A hard quota prevents users from saving files after the space limit is reached and generates notifications when the volume of data reaches each configured threshold. A soft quota does not enforce the quota limit, but it generates all configured notifications.)

  7. You can configure one or more optional threshold notifications for your quota template, as described in the procedure that follows. After you have selected all the quota template properties that you want to use, click OK to save the template.

When storage in a volume or folder reaches a threshold level that you define, File Server Resource Manager can send e-mail messages to administrators or specific users, log an event, run a command or a script, or generate storage reports. You can configure more than one type of notification for each threshold, and you can define multiple thresholds for any quota (or quota template). By default, no notifications are generated.

ImportantImportant
To send e-mail notifications and configure the storage reports with parameters that are appropriate for your server environment, you must first set the general File Server Resource Manager options.

For more information, see Using File Server Resource Manager.

  1. In the Create Quota Template dialog box, under Notification thresholds, click Add. The Add Threshold dialog box appears.

  2. To set a quota limit percentage that will generate a notification:

    In the Generate notifications when usage reaches (%) text box, enter a percentage of the quota limit for the notification threshold. (The default percentage for the first notification threshold is 85 percent.)

  3. To configure e-mail notifications, on the E-mail Message tab, set the following options:

    • To notify administrators when a threshold is reached, select the Send e-mail to the following administrators check box, and then enter the names of the administrative accounts that will receive the notifications. Use the format account@domain, and use semicolons to separate multiple accounts.

    • To send an e-mail message to the person who saved the file that reached the quota threshold, select the Send e-mail to the user who exceeded the threshold check box.

    • To configure the message, edit the default subject line and message body that are provided. The text that is in brackets inserts variable information about the quota event that caused the notification. For example, the [Source Io Owner] variable inserts the name of the user who saved the file that reached the quota threshold. To insert additional variables in the text, place the cursor in the location in the message where you want to insert the variable, select the variable that you want to insert, and then click Insert Variable.

    • To configure additional headers (including From, Cc, Bcc, and Reply-to), click Additional E-mail Headers.

  4. To log an event, on the Event Log tab, select the Send warning to event log check box, and edit the default log entry.

  5. To run a command or script, on the Command tab, select the Run this command or script check box. Then type the command, or click Browse to search for the location where the script is stored. You can also enter command arguments, select a working directory for the command or script, or modify the command security setting.

  6. To generate one or more storage reports, on the Report tab, select the Generate reports check box, and then select which reports to generate. Optionally, you can enter one or more administrative e-mail recipients for the report or e-mail the report to the user who reached the threshold.

    noteNote
    Reports are saved in the default location for incident reports, which is indicated on the Report tab. You can modify the default location in the File Server Resource Manager Options dialog box.

    For more information, see Using File Server Resource Manager.

  7. Click OK to save your notification threshold.

  8. Repeat these steps if you want to configure additional notification thresholds for the quota template.

When making changes to a quota template, you have the option of extending those changes to quotas that were created using the original quota template. You can choose to modify only those quotas that still match the original template or all the quotas that were derived from the original template, regardless of any modifications made to the quotas since they were created. When you reapply a template, all properties in the template overwrite all properties in the quotas—the updates are not limited to the properties that you changed in the quota.

ImportantImportant
If you choose to apply the changes to all quotas that were derived from the original template, you will overwrite any custom quota properties that you created.

  1. In Quota Templates, select the quota template that you want to modify.

  2. Right-click the quota template, and then click Edit Template Properties (or in the Actions pane, under Selected Quota Templates, click Edit Template Properties). This opens the Quota Template Properties dialog box.

  3. Perform all necessary changes. The settings and notification options are identical to those that you can set when you create a quota template. (For more information, see Creating a quota template.) Optionally, you can copy the properties of a different template and modify them for this quota template.

  4. When you are finished editing the template properties, click OK. This opens the Update Quotas Derived from Template dialog box.

  5. Select the type of update that you want to apply:

    • If you have quotas that have been modified since they were created using the original template, and you do not want to change them, select Apply template only to derived quotas that match the original template. This option updates only those quotas that have not been edited since they were created with the original template.

    • If you want to modify all the existing quotas that were created from the original template, select Apply template to all derived quotas.

    • If you want to keep the existing quotas unchanged, select Do not apply template to derived quotas.

  6. Click OK.

Auto apply quotas allow you to assign a quota template to a volume or folder and specify that quotas based on that template will be automatically generated and applied to the existing subfolders and to any subfolders created in the future.

For example, you may define an auto apply quota for subfolders that are created on demand, for roaming profile users or for new users. Every time a new subfolder is created, a new quota entry is automatically generated for that subfolder by using the template that was defined in the auto apply quota profile of its parent folder. These automatically generated quota entries can then be viewed in the results pane, under the Quotas node, as individually created quotas, which can be edited and modified separately.

  1. In Quota Management, click the Quotas node.

  2. Right-click Quotas, and then click Create Quota (or click Create Quota in the Actions pane). This opens the Create Quota dialog box.

  3. Under Quota Path, type the name of or browse to the volume or parent folder that the quota profile will apply to. The auto apply quota will be applied to each of the subfolders (current and future) in this volume or folder.

  4. Click Auto apply template and create quotas on existing and new subfolders.

  5. Under Derive properties from this quota template, select the quota template that you want to apply from the drop-down list. Note that the properties for each template are displayed under Summary of quota properties.

  6. Click Create.

    noteNote
    • To verify all automatically generated quotas, open the Quotas node, and then click Refresh. An individual quota for each subfolder and the auto apply quota profile in the parent volume or folder is listed.

    • To list only auto apply quotas, click Filter at the top of the results pane, and then select Auto apply quotas.

When you change an auto apply quota, you have the option of extending those changes to existing quotas in the auto apply quota path. You can choose to modify only those quotas that still match the original auto apply quota, or you can change all quotas in the auto apply quota path, regardless of any modifications made to the quotas since they were created. Because auto apply quotas are based on quota templates, any specific property changes have to be created in the quota template that is used for the original auto apply quota or by creating a new quota template with the desired properties. For more information about how to modify an existing quota template, see Updating quotas by editing a quota template.

noteNote
If you choose to apply the changes to all quotas in the auto apply quota path, you will overwrite any custom quota properties that you created.

  1. In Quotas, select the auto apply quota that you want to modify.

    noteNote
    To list only auto apply quotas, click Filter at the top of the results pane, and then select Auto apply quotas.

  2. Right-click the auto apply quota that you want to modify, and then click Edit Quota Properties (or in the Actions pane, under Selected Quotas, click Edit Quota Properties). This opens the Edit Auto Apply Quota dialog box.

  3. Under Derive properties from this quota template, select the new quota template that you want to apply. You can review the properties of each quota template in the Summary of auto apply quota properties list box.

  4. Click OK. This opens the Update Quotas Derived from Auto Apply Quota dialog box.

  5. Select the type of update that you want to apply:

    • If you have quotas that have been modified since they were automatically generated, and you do not want to change them, select Apply auto apply quota only to derived quotas that match the original auto apply quota. This option updates only those quotas in the auto apply quota path that have not been edited since they were automatically generated.

    • If you want to modify all existing quotas in the auto apply quota path, select Apply auto apply quota to all derived quotas.

    • If you want to keep the existing quotas unchanged but make the modified auto quota effective for new subfolders in the auto apply quota path, select Do not apply auto apply quota to derived quotas.

  6. Click OK.

In addition to the information that is included in the notifications, you can find out about quota usage by viewing the quotas in Quota Management, by generating a Quota Usage report, or by creating soft quotas for the purpose of monitoring overall disk usage.

To view quota information in File Server Resource Manager, in the console tree, click Quota Management, and then click Quotas.

  • In the results pane, you can quickly find the quota limit, the percentage of the limit that is used, whether the quota is hard or soft, and other quota attributes.

    • Click Filter at the top of the results pane to limit the display to regular or auto apply quotas or to quotas that affect a specific path.

    • Click a column header to group quotas by that attribute.

  • To find additional information about a quota, click the quota. The description area at the bottom of the results pane lists the peak usage and notes the remaining space available on the volume on which the quota was created.

  • To view all quotas with limits that apply to a specific volume or folder, right-click the quota of interest (identified by its path) in the results pane, and then click View Quotas Affecting Folder. The results pane shows the filtered list of applicable quotas.

    -Or-

    To filter the results pane display to the quotas that affect a specific path:

    1. Click Filter at the top of the pane.

    2. In the Quota Filter dialog box, under Quotas affecting path, click the Parents of the following folder option or the Children of the following folder option.

    3. Type or browse to the path.

    4. Click OK.

Use the Quota Usage report to identify quotas that may soon be exceeded so that you can take the appropriate action. For instructions on generating a Quota Usage report, see Generating Storage Reports.

To monitor overall disk usage, you can create soft quotas for volumes or shares. File Server Resource Manager provides the following default templates that you can use (or adapt) for this purpose: the Monitor 200 GB Volume Usage template and the Monitor 500 MB Share template.

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