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Windows Server 2008 R2 : File Server Resource Manager (part 1) - Installing the File Server Resource Manager Tools & FSRM Global Options

4/5/2011 5:05:21 PM
Windows Server 2008 R2 includes a file system management and reporting configuration tool named the File Server Resource Manager (FSRM). This service and tool was first introduced in Windows Server 2003 R2 and provides administrators with the ability to configure quota management at the volume and folder level, create and apply file screening policies, generate alert notifications and reports on a schedule and in real time, and classify files and folders based on administratively defined criteria.

With the volume-level quota management, previously included with Windows Server versions, administrators were very limited on how quotas could be applied and several issues were encountered. Many organizations that required tighter control of their storage were forced to utilize third-party quota management software to get the functionality they required. With the quota management functionality included with the FSRM service in Windows Server 2008 R2, administrators can now create quotas at a volume or folder level and create exceptions or tighter restrictions as required in subfolders. With this sort of functionality, a standard quota size can be established and specific managers, executives, or administrators or specific departments or collaborative groups could have different quota policies applied on the folders that require different storage settings.

With the file screening functionality of FSRM, organizations can restrict all users from storing certain types of files on server storage; for example, music, video, or executables are common files that are screened for end users. Of course, this can be overridden using file screen exceptions to allow these file types in a specific folder or set of folders beneath the parent folder or volume to which the file screen policy is applied.

The new feature included with Windows Server 2008 R2 FSRM is the File Classification Infrastructure. This new functionality can be used to run scheduled tasks that identify and tag or classify files based on their storage location and/or the content stored within the file. Of course, FCI can only search through the content of certain file types, which does not include encrypted files. As this is the first implementation or release of the FCI on the Windows platform, expect that future releases will detail the types of files that can be classified by content and the built-in actions that can be performed after classification is performed on a set of files.

Uses of File Server Resource Manager

FRSM allows administrators to set quotas on volumes and folders as well as implementing file screening functionality or file classification by location or content. Even though in today’s market disk storage is much more affordable than in previous years, the amount of time required to back up and restore the data still needs to be managed. Furthermore, many more organizations need to ensure that their file systems meet certain security and regulatory compliance policies and FSRM can assist with these tasks. Some of the most common uses of FSRM are as follows:

  • Setting limits on storage— An administrator can set the limit on how much disk space a user or group of users can store within a system volume or folder. This is the traditional quota limit item that can limit users to store, for example, 100MB of files on the network.

  • Providing storage limit flexibility of group data— When a user or group of users need to have different storage limits, rather than allowing these users unlimited access, FSRM can be configured to allow the extension of storage usage beyond the default within specific, designated folders. This can be achieved by applying a strict quota policy on a parent folder and either disabling the quota on a subfolder or applying a less-restrictive quota policy on the necessary folder or folders.

  • Enforcing storage policies— FSRM does more than just define storage policies, but can also help administrators enforce the policies by creating reports and generating notifications of policy violations and predefined storage threshold limits, on a real-time or scheduled basis, that can be sent via email, stored in event logs, or stored in designated report folders.

  • File screen policies— Administrators can block the storing of a particular type of file or sets of files. In previous years, many organizations were surprised to discover that a significant source of increased data storage requirements had to do with end users downloading and storing music files on the server. File screen exceptions can be created and applied to subfolders as necessary.

  • File classification— Administrators can define file classification properties and rules that can be manually run or scheduled to check files and define file classification property values based on the administratively defined rules. This can be useful in identifying data based on usage characteristics or identifying data based on content to ensure higher security and management of sensitive data.

Installing the File Server Resource Manager Tools

The File Server Resource Manager tools can be installed separately or it can be installed during the installation of the File Services role. If the FSRM tools needs to be installed on a system that is not a file server or just installed separately, perform the following steps:

1.
Log on to the Windows Server 2008 R2 system with an account with administrator privileges.

2.
Click Start, click All Programs, click Administrative Tools, and select Server Manager.

3.
Click on the Features node in the tree pane, and then click on Add Features in the tasks pane.

4.
The Add Features Wizard opens. On the Select Feature page, click the plus symbol next to Remote Server Administration Tools.

5.
Click the plus symbol next to Role Administration Tools.

6.
Click the plus symbol next to File Services tools, check the File Server Resource Manager Tools check box, as shown in Figure 1, and click Next to continue.

Figure 1. Selecting the File Server Resource Manager tools.

7.
On the Confirm Installation Selections page, review the selections made and click Install to continue.

8.
On the Installation Results page, review the result summary, and click Close to complete the installation.

On a system with the FSRM tools installed but not the File Server role and File Server Resource Manager services, FSRM will only be available from the Administrative Tools menu to manage remote servers. On systems with the File Server role and File Server Resource Manager services installed, FSRM will be available in the Server Manager console in the File Services group under Roles.

Note

If the File Services role is installed but the File Server Resource Manager tool cannot connect to the system, chances are that during the File Services role installation, File Server Resource Manager was not selected. To add this functionality, the File Service Resource Manager service will need to be added using the Add Role Services from the tasks pane in the Server Manager Role node.


FSRM Global Options

To enable the full functionality of the FSRM service, FSRM notifications, and FSRM auditing and reporting, FSRM global options need to be configured. FSRM settings such as the SMTP server to use for email notifications, notification limits, the location of reports, and enabling file screen auditing can be configured by right-clicking the File Server Resource Manager node in Server Manager, and selecting Configure Options. FSRM settings apply to only the single server they are configured on. These settings can be configured on remote servers using the FSRM console, but settings cannot be created and applied to multiple servers using the FSRM interface.

Configuring Quotas with File Server Resource Manager

After the File Server Resource Manager service and tool has been installed, an administrator can launch the tool and begin creating FSRM quota and file screening policies. To open the FSRM console, perform the following steps:

1.
Log on to the Windows Server 2008 R2 system with an account with administrator privileges.

2.
Click Start, click All Programs, click Administrative Tools, and select Server Manager.

3.
Double-click on Roles.

4.
Double-click on File Services.

5.
Double-click on Share and Storage Management.

6.
Double-click on the File Server Resource Manager console.

To create a new quota using the File Server Resource Manager console, continuing from the preceding set of steps, perform the following steps:

1.
Double-click the Quota Management node under the FSRM console.

2.
Select the Quotas node in the tree pane.

3.
In the Actions pane, click the Create Quota link to begin the process.

4.
When the Create Quota window opens, specify the path for the quota, such as E:\UserShares.

5.
Select the Auto Apply Template and Create Quotas on Existing and New Subfolders option button.

6.
In the Quota Properties section of the window, select the Derive Properties from This Quota Template option button and from the drop-down menu, select the 200 MB Limit Reports to User template, and click Create, as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2. Creating a new FSRM quota.


7.
After the quota is created, click the Refresh link in the Actions pane.

8.
In the tasks pane, the new quota will be listed, along with the quotas applied to all existing subfolders and the current status of each quota.

9.
Review the quotas as desired and close the Server Manager console.
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