Disk Usage

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Disk usage
File servers
Storage servers
I am just looking for opinions about users file server disk usage. About 30% of our users average over 1.25 gig of disk space used. This includes all user files and email file. I am just wondering if this is normal or excessive. If people can please let me know what their usage is I would appriciated it.
ASKED: July 3, 2006  1:19 PM
UPDATED: September 26, 2008  9:07 PM

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Looks to me as if they are saving an excessive amount of emails. You can time-out the storage, or just send out a
directive to remove old e-mail.

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  • Rameeti
    Not enough information is being supplied to make any real suggestions. Another post which assumes that email is the culprit apparently assumes some level or size of email that has not been stated. The reality could be that only 5% of the users file server usage is due to email but without any information, it is impossible to make an assumption. The amount of file server space that should be used can only be calculated after knowing what kind of work the users are doing. What is the stated policy on file server usage? Is the user supposed to keep all WIP on their local drive or is all business WIP supposed to be stored on the server? Is the personal usage allowed to contain videos and MP3 that are personal in nature? So much more info is required before any advice can be given.
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  • Lizardb0y
    You should define a clear Data Retention and Destruction Policy and regularly check for compliance. Not only will this help to reduce the amount of data people are saving (especially email) but it is also an excellent way of ensuring your obligations are met should your company find itself involved in unfortunate legal action. You can find some example policies which you can modify for your own use at http://www.sans.org/resources/policies/ Note that it is essential to have senior management endorse any policies you may propose; without their endorsement your policy is meaningless.
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  • PHutchins
    I have ~4000 users and their home directories total 4.5TB. So I would say your numbers are better than mine... :-) We redirect the users' My Documents folders to the server, which is stored as part of their home directory. It was a 'business decision' to prevent lost data in the event of local hard disk failures.
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  • ITBird
    I've also redirected users' My Documents folders to the server to prevent data loss. And because we don't use Exchange or have an external mail server I've redirected all the Outlook Express/Outlook folders to the same server. Some of the users' emails are approaching 10GB (due to the nature of our business we have to have several year's worth immediately accessible), so I'd saying you're doing pretty well!! ;-)
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  • Squasher
    Hiya It really depends on what is being stored by the user and what type of business you guys are in. I look after several types of businesses and it varies dramatically what storage requirements they all need. However the only way to approach this is to analyse the data stored both in email and user files - is it all work related? You cant just impose limits on space without first talking to the decision makers because they will know what is needed and what "may be" needed. In your case it also depends on the ratio of the disk usage for email and user files. Basic admin strategies can really reduce the size of profiles with redirection, auto delete temp int files etc etc but again find out if it is essential work related data. Archiving email to .pst with the useraccess c
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  • Platypus
    It doesn't immediately sound like your numbers are out of whack. But when you talk about e-mail files, are you using Exchange Server but having them use PST files stored out on the network?? If so, that's a very questionable practice and not one which is supported by Microsoft. But as another poster suggested, we don't really have enough information to tell if your users are following your published (?) policies or not.
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  • Imazing
    Thank you for all of your comments. We currently do not have a published policy. We are just determining if we should by more disk or limit peoples usage. I personally am not a big fan of limiting usage of the network resource but it is management's decision. We do only have the PST file of Outlook pointing to the server. Again thank you and more comments would be appriciate on what other company's disk usage is would be appriciated.
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  • Poppaman2
    What you need to do (as stated above) is dictated by what you are already doing... What I mean is that if you are processing large files (of whatever type) such as might be encountered in the Publishing industry, you probably can do little to avoid the relatively large amount of "personal" storage currently being consumed. One thing you might consider if this is the case, is requesting/requiring that essential business files or any work in progress be saved to a shared drive. This will accomplish two things: version control (if properly implemented) and reduction or elimination or redundant or duplicate copies of files. If on the other hand your requirements are not of the type described above, then storage quotas and mailbox size limits should (???) be considered. In one position I held, I was required to enforce a 50MB mailbox size, in another, 40MB. Everything else was to be archived; exceptions were granted on a case by case basis, and reviewed quarterly. Be aware that per Sarbanes Oxley (and other federal and state regulations), the statement "if it's not on the network, it don't exist" holds: if you allow .pst files to be saved on the network, they are fair game in any investigation, litigation or enforcement action to which your organization is subject (of course, the above statement holds true in the U.S.A. only). As far as storage goes, there is really no reason (again unless the types of files you are dealing with are inherently large) to allow more than 500MB of storage on ANY user account. Those who require additional storage are free to purchase point storage devices (external HDD's or NAS boxes), chargeable to the department or division making the purchase from the "approved devices" list. Of course, any network devices are administered by the network group as far as setup and/or maintenance, but the cost of the device and the maintenance of the data it contains is the responsibility of the individual party(ies) involved.
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  • Freejack
    If you fall under any requirements for protecting confidential data, I'd think twice about any portable storage systems unless they also implement encryption. The news has been full of exposed client data via stolen laptops, etc. and you don't really want to make the news too. As far as storage requirements, I concur that it varies drastically by industry (i.e. when I worked at a brokerage 2-4 GB, mostly e-mail, for a user was not unusual -- Be glad you don't have to deal with digitized phone recordings as well). Ideally you should seperate your e-mail and other data by implementing a server solution. This has a whole host of benefits that include more control over how users retain information, centralized archiving via backup systems, and better storage management via quotas and such. I'd bet that a significant portion of that storage consumption is e-mail. It's also important to have clear data storage, archiving, and retention policies in place and awareness in your user communtiy of what these are.
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  • Mistoffeles
    In a department where I work now, there are GIS/mapping files that occupy several TB of storage, both in shared workspaces and personal (for signed out files being updated) workspaces. Personal storage can easily be as high as 45GB for a user, if several projects (or one large one) are being worked on at any given time. I would advise a review of what users are storing on the server, and if necessary addition of network storage, not local. A disk space policy should be applied afterwards, commensurate with the anticipated needs of each user.
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