Sunday, February 12, 2012

Storage Management and FSRM

File Server Resource Manager (FSRM) is a new suite of storage management tools in Windows Server 2008 R2.

There are many challenging aspects to storage management:

  • Some organizations have growth requirements anywhere from 60-100 percent per year
  • Critical data must always be available
  • Organizations must comply with regulatory requirements
  • The amount of storage-intensive apps on the market has increased
  • How to determine existing storage capacity and usage trends
  • How to determine whether usage supports organizational goals
  • Defining and implementing storage policies
  • Adjusting policies such as restricting employee personal file storage as capacity needs grow

How do we address capacity and storage management?
  • You need to analyze how the storage is used
  • Define storage resource management policies
  • Implement policies to slow storage growth
  • Acquire tools to implement policies

What is File Server Resource Manager (FSRM)?
The best feature you've never heard of...
File Server Resource Manager is a File Services role.

FSRM can be applied to folders.

FRSM has quota templates, built-in or custom designed. We can easily assign a template to a folder on a file server.

FRSM also has advanced features such as file screening to protect us from inappropriate file types, such as AVI or MP3 files. We can be notified if a user attempts to store one of these files into a folder that is being screened.

The File Server Resource Manager integrates:

  • Capacity Management. Monitors usage patterns and utilization levels.
  • Policy Management. Restricts file storage (file screening).
  • Quota Management. Limits the amount of space used for volumes, folders, or shares.
  • Reports. Provides storage reports for regulatory requirements the allow management to oversee and audit storage management.

FSRM Functions

  • Centrally manage quotas to limit the space allowed on a volume or folder
  • Quotas can be automatically generated
  • Create file screens
  • Monitor unauthorized file types from being stored on our system
  • Define quota and file screening templates
  • Generate scheduled or on-demand storage reports 
Demo – Install the FSRM Role

  1. Start | Administrative Tools | Server Manager
  2. Expand Roles and select File Services
  3. Right-click File Services and select Add Role Services
  4. Check File Server Resource Manager
  5. Click Next
  6. On the Configure Storage Usage Monitoring page, choose the volume you would like to monitor. We will choose both the Local Disk (C:) and the D: drive in this demo. We can also set report options if we want by selecting the Options... button.
  7. Click Next
  8. On the Set Report Options page, you set where you want the reports to go and whether you want to Receive reports by e-mail
  9. Click Next
  10. On the Confirm Installation Selections page, is a summary of where you are setting FSRM
  11. Click Install
  12. On the Installation Results page, click Close
  13. Close Server Manager
  14. Go to Start | Administrative Tools and you will see Files Server Resource Manager

FRSM Configuration Options

  • Configure e-mail notifications
  • Configure default parameters for storage reports
  • Change the report repository locations
  • Configure file screen audit

Demo – Configure FSRM Options

  1. Start | Administrative Tools | File Server Resource Manager
  2. Right-click and select Configure Options...
  3. Set up a mail server in order to receive reports via email. Enter the mail server in the SMTP server name or IP address: field.
  4. Enter the Default administrator recipients: in the text box.
  5. Click on the Notification Limits tab. The notification limits are set to minutes. You can change them in the text boxes provided for:
    • E-mail notification
    • Event log notification
    • Command notification
    • Report notification
  6. On the Storage Reports tab, you can configure the default parameters for each storage report.
  7. On the Report Locations tab, you can set the volume or drive Report locations.
  8. On the File Screen Audit tab, you can check to Record file screening activity in auditing database.
  9. Click OK.

Configure Quota Management

FRSM allows you to give quotas at a folder level and is more flexible than the NTFS quotas. You can build templates that make it quick and easy to apply a template to run quotas.

Quota management is “Limiting storage space via a hard or soft quota and generating notification when the limits are approached or exceeded”.

A hard quota limit is when the storage of data is prevented once the limit is reached.

A soft quota limit is when the limit is allowed to be exceeded, but, we are notified via e-mail, event-viewer, or a combination of both.

Notification thresholds can be configured to:

  • Send e-mail notifications
  • Log an event
  • Run a command or script
  • Generate storage reports

Comparison of FRSM Quotas vs. NTFS Disk Quotas

Quota Features NTFS Quotas FSRM Quotas
Quota Tracking Per user/per volume By folder or volume
Disk Usage Logical file size Actual disk space
Notification Event logs only E-mail, reports, command line execution of a batch file or program, event logs

Quota Templates

A quota template defines:

  • A space limit
  • Type: Hard or Soft Quota
  • Notifications generate when quota limit is reached

Default Quota Templates are provided in the Quota Management node of FSRM.

Creating and Modifying Quotas

Create a quota options:

  • Create a quota on a path
  • Apply template and create quotas on existing and new subfolders

Modify a quota:

  • Update quotas by editing quota template
  • Edit an automatic quota
  • Update individual quotas listed in the details pane

Monitor Quota Usage

  • View the quota information in FSRM
  • Quota Usage reports
  • Create soft quotas

Note: Quotas normally have an I/O performance overhead of 10 percent or less.

Demo – Create and Manage Quota’s

  1. Start | Administrative Tools | File Server Resource Manager
  2. Under Quota Management, right- click Quota Templates and select Create Quota Template...
  3. Give it a Template Name:. We will give it a name of 250MB - Limit Report to Administrator
  4. Drop down and type 250 in the Limit: text box
  5. Select Soft quota: Allow users to exceed limit (use for monitoring) so you can see the reports and event viewer usage
  6. Click on the Add button to add some thresholds.
  7. In the Add Threshold dialog box, let’s enter 60% in the Generate notifications when usage reaches (%): text box.
  8. Check off Send e-mail to the following administrators:
  9. Click OK.
  10. Click on the Add button to add another threshold.
  11. In the Add Threshold dialog box, let’s enter 85% in the Generate notifications when usage reaches (%): text box.
  12. Check off Send e-mail to the following administrators:
  13. Click on the Event Log tab and enter 85 in the Generate notifications when usage reaches (%): text box.
  14. Click OK.
  15. When you return to the Create Quota Template dialog box, you see the two thresholds of 60% and 85%.
  16. Click OK.
  17. Now, we will apply a quota to a folder. Select Quotas and right-click. Select Create Quota...
  18. In the Drive properties from this quota template (recommended): text box, drop down and select the template 250MB Limit – Report to Administrator
  19. Go up to the Quota path: text box and Browse... to Select a folder and select a folder
  20. Click Create

To test, create a folder that is bigger than 250MB on the drive you selected, and go to:

  1. Start | Administrative Tools | Event Viewer
  2. Drop down to Windows Logs
  3. Select Application and you will see a Warning generated

File Screening

You might want to be notified if a user stores a file with a certain file type on the organization’s system. You might want to block certain file types, such as photos and mp3s, from being loaded onto the volume.

We can configure file screening to generate notifications when this occurs.

File screening provides a method that is flexible and controls the types of files saved on company servers.

The File Screening Management node allows:

  • Creation of file screens for a given path
  • Defines file screen templates
  • Creates file screen exceptions
  • Creates file groups

Note: if the file extension is renamed, it can possibly circumvent the file screening since file screening centers on the file extension.

File Groups

A file group is a namespace for a file screen. It is a collection of files for a particular group.

There are default groups or we can create our own.

A file group is a set of file name patterns, grouped into files to include or files to exclude.

File Screen Exception

A file screen exception overrides any file screen that would otherwise apply to a folder and all its subfolders in a designated exception path.

File Screen Template

A file screen template allows us to centrally manage different file types to block and the type of screen to perform and the notifications to be generated.

Demo – Implement File Screening

  1. Start | Administrative Tools | File Server Resource Manager
  2. Drop down to File Screening Management node.
  3. Underneath, you have the File Screen Templates. But, let’s go to File Screens.
  4. Right-click and Create File Screen
  5. Go to Derive properties from this file screen template (recommended): and choose Block Audio and Video Files
  6. Go to the File screen path: and Browse to select the folder the file screen applies to.
  7. Select Create
  8. Right-click File Screens and select Edit File Screen Properties...
  9. Go to the Report tab and check the Generate reports box. Select File Screening Audit
  10. Click OK
  11. Let’s say we need to allow WMA files in that folder. We need to allow a file screen exception. Right-click File Screens and select Create File Screen Exception...
  12. In the Create File Screen Exception dialog box, under Select file groups to exclude from screening:, check off Audio and Video Files and then click on the Edit... button.
  13. Then add Files to exclude: *.wma and click the Add button
  14. Click OK
  15. Click OK

Managing Storage Reports

Storage reports provide information about the file usage on a file server. The reports help to identify trends in disk usage and to monitor attempts to save unauthorized files by users.

FSRM types of storage reports can show the following:

  • Large files
  • Files by owner
  • Files by file group
  • Duplicate files
  • Least recently used files
  • Most recently used files
  • Quota usage
  • File screening audit

What is a Report Task?

You may schedule reports by creating a Report Task:

  • Volumes and folders
  • The report to generate
  • Parameters to use
  • How often to generate the report
  • The file format to save the report in

On-Demand Reports

Use the Generate Reports Now action to open Storage Reports Task Properties and select the desired reports.

Tools to configure FSRM:

Tool Description
Dirquota.exe Create and manage quotas and quota templates
FileScrn.exe Create and manage file screens, file-screening exceptions, and file groups
StorRept.exe Configure report parameters and generate storage reports on demand. Yo can create report tasks and use Schtasks.exe to schedule the reports.
Fsutil Configure NTFS Quotas and create files to test quota behavior.

Demo – Generate a report

  1. Start | Administrative Tools | File Server Resource Manager
  2. Drop down to File Screening Management
  3. Highlight Storage Reports Management
  4. Right-click and select:
    • Schedule a New Report Task...
    • Add or Remove Reports for a Report Task...
    • Generate Reports Now...
  5. Select Generate Reports Now...
  6. Check off Files by Owner
  7. Click the Add button to Browse For Folder and select a folder
  8. Click OK
  9. Under Report formats, click the DHTML box
  10. Click OK
  11. The Generate Storage Reports dialog box appears and you have two options:
    • Wait for reports to be generated and then display them
    • Generate reports in the background
  12. We will choose the first option and click OK
  13. A Generating Storage Reports dialog box displays
  14. Internet Explorer launches and we see the report by owner and we can click a specific owner to see the activity
  15. You can also select a Delivery and Schedule for the reports by selecting the appropriate tabs
The Basics of Windows Server 2008 FSRM (File Server Resource Manager)

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