Managing Windows Server 2008 Disk Quotas
Even in today's world of cheap and abundant disk storage space it is still important to monitor and control the disk space usage of users. This is especially important in enterprise environments where the sheer number of users can quickly consume even the largest quantities of disk space. As such this chapter of Windows Server 2008 Essentials will cover the topic of configuring and managing disk quotas on Windows Server 2008 in detail.
An Overview of Disk Quotas
First, it is important to appreciate that disk quotas are actually a feature of the NTFS disk file system rather than a specific feature of Windows Server 2008, although Windows does provide the tools necessary to configure and manage disk quotas.
In essence, disk quotas allow Windows administrators to monitor and control the use of disk space by users. Disk quotas can be deplayed in a number of different ways depending on the requirements of the administrator:
- Disk Usage Monitoring - Allows the administrator to monitor the usage of disk space on a user by user basis. No action is taken by the operating system to warn users that they are approaching a limit or prevent further disk writing when the limit is exceeded.
- Disk Usage Monitoring and Warning - Also allows the administrator to monitor disk usage but also warns offending users when their disk usage on a particular volume exceeds a specified limit.
- Disk Usage Enforcement - Allows monitoring of disk usage, issues warnings top users when thresholds are reached and denies disk space when the user exceeds limit.
Disk quotas are configured on a per-volume basis. it is not, therefore, possible to specify a quota that encompasses multiple volumes. Once a volume has disk quotas specified, those quotas apply to all users of the volume unless exceptions are configured for individual users. For example, a user in the video editing department would probably need more disk space than someone in the accounts department. Members of the Administrators group can never be denied access to disk space. The most an administrator will ever receive is a warning.
Configuring Disk Quotas
Since disk quotas are a feature built into NTFS, any volume on which quotas are to be configured must be formatted as NTFS.