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Learning Windows Server 2003 by Jonathan Hassell

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Limiting Use of Disk Space with Quotas

Windows 2000 first introduced the quota feature, allowing an administrator to define a limit or set of limits on the consumption of disk space by individual users. Windows quota support, up until Windows 2000, was available only through third-party software, which was typically very expensive.

Windows Server 2003’s quota management features some interesting properties:

  • Windows Server 2003 can distinguish between volumes, so you can set different quotas on different volumes to, perhaps, segregate types of data, or offer a specific volume for one department’s exclusive use.

  • You can assign quotas on mapped drives, as long as the physical volumes to which the mapped drives point were created with Windows 2000 Server or Windows Server 2003, or were upgraded to either of the later versions from Windows NT 4.0.

  • Windows Server 2003 does not allow grace writes, as do some third-party software programs. That is, some software allows a user to continue an operation—say, a file copy process—even if during the middle of that operation the quota is reached. Server 2003 does not allow this; it will cut off the operation when the quota is reached.

As usual, though, neat features always contain weak points. First, quotas are supported only on disks formatted with the NTFS filesystem. This isn’t too surprising because most progressive filesystem features aren’t available under the various flavors of FAT. Second, and perhaps more disturbing, due to an ...

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