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Windows Thread, Creation of home drives in Technical; I just wondered how people create student account and how users home drives are structured on your network? We have ...
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    Creation of home drives

    I just wondered how people create student account and how users home drives are structured on your network?

    We have historically created one share$ per user (for both staff and learners) and have the home drive (H: ) mapped directly to it.

    Permissions are set on the share level and the NTFS permissions are set to everyone full-control.

    The folder stucture is

    D:\shared\users\students\a..z \ useriD
    " " " " "\staff\a..z\ userID

    And these are stored on 4 fileservers (as we have 4 geographically dispersed sites connected together with WAN links).

    The servers are old Xenon based (P3 tech I think) Viglen servers which were purchased on 2003. After RAID they each have about 150Gb of storage on D:.

    We are looking to replace these servers and move existing staff/learners (and update the staff/student account genertion programs). We see this as a possible opportunity to change the way we stucture the H drive (use NTFS permissions and deep mapping of H drives to higher level share for staff and one for students).

    Both the student and staff account generation programs were developed "in house" using VB. The student account generation program connects to our MIS system an pulls off a list of enrolments, and generates the accounts from there.

    My questions is:

    A) What system do people use (one share per user or deep mapping)?
    B) What system do they use to autogenerate their student accounts?

    Any other advice?

    Thanks,

    Bruce.

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    I neglected to mention that we are an FE College, and tend to get enrolments throughout the year (maybe around 6,000 in an academic year, but only around 30% of these ever logon).

    I am not very up on this, but I imagine that many Schools use CC3 or CC4 linked into SIMS?

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    glennda's Avatar
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    Personally my system is Vanilla windows (ie no 3rd party software like cc3/4). We get a CSV file sent to us with the needed fields for AD then us Ad manager plus (although there are other free ones) to bulk import them into AD. We have given our Sims/Admissions lady the blank template and she puts in the necessary fields and emails to our helpdesk - one of the team then import into AD.

    All depends how bigger team you have. But in something like Ad Manager plus you could setup multiple templates with users Home dirs pointing to different servers then cycle through the different templates while importing.

    I'm not 100% sure if there is any 3rd party software which pulls from sims and can be imported into AD - although would be interested to know if their was.

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    Neither CC3 or CC4 link directly to SIMS. We're on CC4, and, as above, we import a csv file exported from SIMS into the CC4 management console. I have, on a vanilla system, used various bat files to import users using Windows tools such as net user and cacls

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    Our student information system houses it's database in SQL. I have a nightly job that exports needed data to a .csv and then on the Domain Controller I have 2 vbs scripts. One for account creation and one for home creation. These are both run a scheduled tasks using the .Csv export and they generate a log for me also.

    Our directories are a single share and then deep mapping underneath that controlled by NTFS permissions rather than having a ton of shares.

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    exactly the same as glennda here!

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    We are vanilla also.

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    Also i wouldn't advise having every users homefolder as a share. In my experience this can really slow down servers. I simply use.

    \\server\staffdata$\username for staff data
    \\server\staffprofiles$\username for profiles
    \\server\intakeyear$\username for year group home dirs
    \\server\intakeyearprofiles$\username for year group profiles

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    Quote Originally Posted by glennda View Post
    Also i wouldn't advise having every users homefolder as a share. In my experience this can really slow down servers. I simply use.

    \\server\staffdata$\username for staff data
    \\server\staffprofiles$\username for profiles
    \\server\intakeyear$\username for year group home dirs
    \\server\intakeyearprofiles$\username for year group profiles
    Agreed. We have something similar minus the profiles path. All of our profiles are configured using default user on the local machines.

    Lots of shares on a machine tends to slow things down. Create one share (two if you must.) and then use NTFS permissions to lock them down. You can get a lot more variables using NTFS permissions also.

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    zag
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    I'm just moving away from using hidden shares for individual user areas and its has speeded up the servers no end, especially on backup.

    If its an individual account just copy another account in AD and set a new name. AD will setup the user directory and create a home folder and set all the permssions first time they log on (assuming you dont use a $ share).

    If its for a batch upload you can use tools like dovestones AD bulk users, although it is rather complicated to use for the first time. You can also do what you require with vb scripts.

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    if you plan to go win 7 at any point and you are starting from scratch it might be worth doing your users
    \\server\users$\group\username\docs
    \\server\users$\group\username\pics
    \\server\users$\group\username\music
    ....
    as thats how it expects it to be and its not a major issue to redirect xp in the same way. This also gets round the my documents list rather than usernames you get when a user is logged onto a win7 box.

    individual $ shares per user is a pain but if you have a script t share them its not that bad

    creating new users i have an excel sheet if im doing lots or just copy an existing user if im only doing <10

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    We had drive mapping issues with Server2003 in a previous place. What we did is changed the share mappings from \\server01\userfiles$\username to the FQDN like this \\server01.mynetwork.net\userfiles$\username

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmy_2k View Post
    We had drive mapping issues with Server2003 in a previous place. What we did is changed the share mappings from \\server01\userfiles$\username to the FQDN like this \\server01.mynetwork.net\userfiles$\username
    That just sounds like a DNS problem tbh

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    \\server\entryyearshare\%username%
    \\server\staffshare\%username%

    We just feed dsadd a csv for new users.

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    Quote Originally Posted by glennda View Post
    Also i wouldn't advise having every users homefolder as a share. In my experience this can really slow down servers.
    Quote Originally Posted by qcomer View Post
    Lots of shares on a machine tends to slow things down.
    Do you have any benchmarks or information to back this up? We run CC3 and are soon to upgrade to CC4. Both networks have per-user (hidden) shares and we don't notice any difference compared to other servers.

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