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How do you do....it? Thread, Network Share Layout in Technical; Hi Everyone, (Feel free to point me to a thread if my search missed it.) I'm interested to know how ...
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    Network Share Layout

    Hi Everyone,

    (Feel free to point me to a thread if my search missed it.)

    I'm interested to know how everyone else lays out their network shares for their schools? I recently introduced DFS and now have the staff user accounts (roaming profiles) on a 'Users' DFS share with the intention to get the students onto a similar 'Students' one in the future somewhen, but how do you guys manage the Department resources and such like? I have a DFS root named 'Files' which is mapped to the K drive for staff and students alike and it contains:

    AdminPrivate - Just for Headteacher, few SMT etc.
    AdminPublic - Doc store for the admin staff
    NetworkSoftware - Installation point for network-installed software
    Photos - School photos
    StaffResources - Department resources for staff, divided into Department folders with appropriate permissions.
    StudentResources - As above, but for the stuff the teachers what the kids to get to for lessons etc.
    Videos - All video resources go here, divided by dept as above.

    It's not really ideal, as the student have to have the K drive mapped which opens up all of those DFS links to them. They're set security-wise so they can't get in (and tested), but it would be better if they couldn't see them at all.

    I'm toying with two 'StaffFiles' and 'StudentsFiles' DFS roots and splitting it but I'm stuck for ideas.

    I'm interested really in how you keep all of the dept data separate and manageable. Do you divide it by dept first then leave them to do what they like in that folder? Do you divide it out into resource type first and then give them a dept folder inside that, like I have with Videos (similar to Win7 Libraries I suppose, without the Library functionality)?

    Ideas on a postcard please, if anyone fancies helping me out.

    Cheers,

    Shuriken1.

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    Duke's Avatar
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    DFS shares:

    Share for each year group's roaming profile and userspace, same for staff.
    Share for networked software.
    Share for application deployment.
    Share for mapped start menus.
    Share for scripts and network admin tools.

    'Resources' share with a mapped drive, inside this is a folder for staff resources and student resources. Permissions and ABE mean students can't get into the staff folder and have read-only permissions on the student's folder. Inside each folder (amongst other stuff) is a folder for each department. HR and Admin have their own private folders in staff resources but I may change this to a new top-level folder at some point.

    Admin users are on a different domain, but I'd like to scrap that eventually. SIMS get the S: drive mapped but it's not via a DFS share (no need).

    It's not really ideal, as the student have to have the K drive mapped which opens up all of those DFS links to them. They're set security-wise so they can't get in (and tested), but it would be better if they couldn't see them at all.
    Don't share the DFS root, share the DFS shares. Kids just get the resources share and the networked software share mapped, staff also get the S: drive.

    Cheers,
    Chris

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    Ok cool, thanks Chris. That is a good point about sharing the share not the root, stupid oversight on my part. I'll change it now.

    It seems like you have a similar layout, although I suppose everyone's is going to be similar to some extent. That's very useful though, thank you. If it looks like everyone does it with staff and students folders with dept folders within it I at least know I've got something half sensible!

    Thanks.

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    No worries, definitely sounds like you're on the right track, you can just afford to be a bit more selective about what you choose to put on mapped drives.

    For networked software, it's something you want to standardise fairly early. Most software will want to be installed to a path with a drive letter and run from that same path, so if I'm installing some educational software on the application server, I want to have the P: drive mapped through DFS the same way staff and students will get it, even though the 'P:' drive actually resolves to a local drive on the server I'm using. This isn't the case with all software, but it's good practice to avoid hassle.

    Resources isn't ideal, and staff will quickly make a mess of it, but that's hard to avoid. Mine looks something like:

    R: > Staff > Curriculum Areas (and other folders) > Art, Business Studies, Dance, etc.
    (same for students)

    One thing I found useful for cleaning up is to make a big obvious LOST+FOUND folder in the root of the staff and students folders. When people dump things in there careless, just move them to lost and found. Haven't had any complaints about me moving things as yet, and it makes it easier to tidy up. If you're setting any policies on size limits, do it now and let people know about it to stop them complaining when they hit them later.

    Cheers,
    Chris

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    Oh nice, I like the Lost+Found idea! Yeah, I may have not been 100% clear, unfortunately this isn't starting from new, I'm just trying to enforce some order on what has been a ridiculous filing system. To give you some idea, they're still storing their dept resources in the same place as the web pages for their dept section of the intranet. The concept that that is just a webserver that doesn't have lots of storage and that any non-intranet-linked files should go somewhere else does not seem to be sinking in just yet! lol. I'm not far away for the 'hit them with a big stick' plan.

    With the network software, are you saying that the drive letter should be the same to keep the software happy? So when I install it on the P drive on the server, the mapped drive should be P as well so it doesn't get confused? Makes sense if that is the case. I've been putting off network-installed software for ages now and as a result, the few bits that are on there are a mess. Presumably you put the network-installed software's shortcuts in that mapped start menus folder and have them added to the start menus automatically like that? That's something we don't have at the moment. :/ Looks like this all needs a lot more thought and work..

    Thanks again for your help.

    ps. As for the size limits, thats a whole new problem. Our fileserver isn't on 2003 R2 yet, so it doesn't have FSRM - which means I'm stuck with volume-level disk quotas. It's proved a minor disaster in the last few days as I've been moving files around to make space and it's started counting new files into users' quotas and I can see the 'but they're not my files, they're department files' argument coming. I don't currently have an answer for them other than 'you'll have to wait until I can upgrade the server'. Not gonna go down well I don't think.. Meh.
    Last edited by Shuriken1; 28th October 2010 at 12:28 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shuriken1 View Post
    Oh nice, I like the Lost+Found idea! Yeah, I may have not been 100% clear, unfortunately this isn't starting from new, I'm just trying to enforce some order on what has been a ridiculous filing system. To give you some idea, they're still storing their dept resources in the same place as the web pages for their dept section of the intranet. The concept that that is just a webserver that doesn't have lots of storage and that any non-intranet-linked files should go somewhere else does not seem to be sinking in just yet! lol. I'm not far away for the 'hit them with a big stick' plan.
    I think we're all in the same boat - trying to run a business style network on school budgets with staff/management who don't always get it. Plan ahead as much as you can: getting data off the webserver and onto something with more space definitely sounds like a good start, but whatever you're putting it on will need upgrading too eventually. If you can start to plan for expandable storage, even if it's five years away at the moment, then go for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shuriken1 View Post
    With the network software, are you saying that the drive letter should be the same to keep the software happy? So when I install it on the P drive on the server, the mapped drive should be P as well so it doesn't get confused? Makes sense if that is the case. I've been putting off network-installed software for ages now and as a result, the few bits that are on there are a mess.
    Basically, yeah. Obviously not all software will run from a network share, and some stuff that will can just be copied onto there and run in which case it doesn't really matter. However, a lot of educational software need to be installed to a shared location where it's then run from. If so, it's much more reliable to install the software to P:\Maths\ThisSoftware if that's how staff/students will access it because it means all the paths generated by the installer will be correct when it's run. If I'm installing the software on the application server itself then P:\Maths\ThisSoftware might actually be D:\Network Data\Software\Shared\Maths\ThisSoftware, bit it's still better to map the P: drive and use that path in the installer to keep the software happy. YMMV on this one as it depends on the software package.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shuriken1 View Post
    Presumably you put the network-installed software's shortcuts in that mapped start menus folder and have them added to the start menus automatically like that? That's something we don't have at the moment.
    Yep, got a DFS share called Menus. Inside that are folders (with appropriate permissions) for staff, students, network admins, controlled exams users, etc. These are applied to the users via Group Policy Folder Redirection that says Group A gets Menu A, etc. This makes it easy for us to control what people have access to and manage the start menus for all the users.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shuriken1 View Post
    ps. As for the size limits, thats a whole new problem. Our fileserver isn't on 2003 R2 yet, so it doesn't have FSRM - which means I'm stuck with volume-level disk quotas. It's proved a minor disaster in the last few days as I've been moving files around to make space and it's started counting new files into users' quotas and I can see the 'but they're not my files, they're department files' argument coming. I don't currently have an answer for them other than 'you'll have to wait until I can upgrade the server'. Not gonna go down well I don't think.. Meh.
    FSRM's great - I've now got a lot of data on my SAN and I really miss FSRM because users access the SAN directly via CIFS. I think at some point you've got to be hands-off about the problems and say to management 'Look, these are the issues, and they can't be fixed without upgraded hardware and software. Until I get the budget to do so, you'll have to live with these issues and the dodgy workarounds - sorry!'.

    Happy days.

    Chris

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