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ITS filestore general info & FAQs

Some ITS Filestore services allow folders to be shared or restricted based on your needs.

Here is an overview of the shared filestore service (ie. dept shared folder, Storage Now and High capacity)

Security

The ITS Active Directory (ie your university login) is used to authenticate to the ITS shared file store. The AD also holds filestore groups which are used to grant access to a specific shared folder. Filestore groups can be requested for both read-only and read/write access.

Accessing the fileshare

Managed workstations provide seamless access to the M Drive as they have already authenticated with the active directory at login. Unmanaged computers, (which are not not controlled by IT Services), will prompt for your username and password when you connect to the service.

Data Owners

Every shared folder has at least one 'data owner'. This role approves any requests we receive from users requesting access. In addition to approving requests received by IT Services, data owners can grant/revoke access to shared folders they control using the self-service filestore group tool (FSG).

Subfolder security - only for services: dept shared folder, Storage Now (team) and High capacity (shared)

Subfolders of a share are usually accessible to all those with access to the parent folder. The permission to view subfolders is inherited from the parent folder.

Where required, we can also create a subfolder filestore group. This is useful where you need to grant a user access to only specific subfolders. There are restrictions on how far down the folder structure this can be configured.

Subfolders can be further secured by blocking access rights inheritance. Where inheritance is blocked only those added to the subfolder's access group can see the subfolder.

Security Summary Report

A report is generated each morning summarising folder and group information. This is available automatically to data owners as a PDF on their M drive. This service is standard on the department shared folder service.

An ITS managed service

This is a managed service - IT Services will create your share and configure any subfolders to your requirements. You can make requests via the ITS Helpdesk. Data owners can also grant and revoke access to shares and subfolders (that have been setup by ITS) using the FSG self service tool.


 

Service Costs

  • Costs shown on the Storage Intranet pages include VAT, are based on usable storage in TiB.
  • High Capacity Storage uses compression, which makes it far more cost effective than our other filestore services.
  • Our services do not include Staff or data centre costs - these are covered by the central IT charge that departments already pay. We charge for storage based on the raw hardware cost. IT Services make no profit from the storage service.
  • Some services, such as Traditional Backup are subsidised by IT Services.

 


General FAQs

What do I do when I exceed my H: Drive quota?

All staff and students have an initial H: drive quota size of 1GB.

Each morning our systems scan for H Drives that are low on space. If the quota is under 20GB, it will be automatically increased by 1GB and an email will let you know this has happened.

We are unable to increase the H:Drive quote above 20GB. If you require additional space, you can request a StorageNow Fileshare.

What do I do when I exceed the M: Drive quota?

IT Services monitor shared drive space using automated reports that run each morning. It is still possible however for a department to fill their shared drive. Our primary goal is to ensure your department can continue to work, and we can usually increase quota instantly - however we do ask that you should first remove unwanted, duplicate or personal files (such as music or photos).

If your department is storing large amounts of non-administrative data, our High Capacity Filestore Service is likely more appropriate.


Recovering a file that has been deleted, overwritten or corrupted

H: Drive

You can recover recently changed files yourself by using our 'Previous Versions' feature.

If the file was deleted some time ago, IT Services can recover your file from our backup system. We can restore back from as far as two years.

Shared drive (M:), StorageNow, High Capacity Storage

IT Services can recover your file either from either Commvault Backup or Snapshot.

Recovery Points

IT Services create 'recovery points' which allow us to recover data, as it existed at that point in time. If your file did not exist when the recovery point was taken, it will not be avalible for restore. Traditional backup system recovery points (M: drive and StorageNow) are taken each day at 20:30. Snapshot recovery points (High Capacity Storage service) are taken every hour.

More information can found on the backup intranet pages and the High Capacity Storage (snapshot) pages.

If you have any queries - please do not hessiate to call the IT Services Helpdesk.

 


Office File corruption

In addition to recovering a previous version of a document, we can help to recover data from a corrupted file. We can usually help with file formats such as:

Word Documents .doc(x)
Excel .xls(x)
Powerpoint ppt(x)
Access .mdb(x)
Other less common programs such as Publisher and Project.
Our success varies depending on how badly damaged the file is. In some cases, it is better to go back to a previous version of the file (See above).

 


Why use IT Service Storage?

With the falling price of hard disks and inexpensive Network-Attached Storage devices, it can be tempting to expand your storage for a relatively small cost. These devices are now readily available from internet and high street retailers, and can provide large amounts of storage, often up to several terabytes, for a considerably lower price than that charges by Warwick ITS for its managed storage services.

There are however a few things to bear in mind before buying one of these.

Build and components

Consumer NAS devices are essentially small computers (often built on the Linux operating system) with several inexpensive hard disks, all in a small enclosure. As such, they are vulnerable to all the usual issues associated with consumer-level technology. The hard disks are usually exactly the same as would be installed on a desktop PC, and the server board is similar to that used in a relatively simple laptop. Both these items are known to be more prone to failure than the enterprise-grade components which comprise the ITS Filestore services.

Environment

When you get your NAS device, where will you put it? The chances are it will be on or under the desk. This isn't necessarily the best place in terms of knocking, airflow, dust, tea and coffee and other hazards. ITS Filestore storage is housed in temperature and humidity controlled locations across campus, and is protected from power outages by our generator and battery-backed uninterruptible power supplies.

Support

What happens if or when it fails? High street and internet retailers are notoriously difficult to deal with in the event of a hardware failure - that is, if you can get them to admit the failure was due to the hardware at all. Even once they have agreed to service the device, it can take a long time to identify the fault, and there is a good chance that the response will simply be to replace the unit.

Backup

So you now have a nice 4TB storage box on your desk, but if something should go wrong with it, the data is unlikely to be backed up. The ITS Filestore services include an automated backup option, where the data in your storage area is regularly copied off to tape and made available for restore for up to two years. More details on the Backup and Recovery Service here.