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Recommendations on how to host users shares on NetApp

Hello All -

I am looking to roll out personal user shares for the users in our environment which I have done traditionally through AD and a basic Windows file share server.  I am new to NetApp and I understand that there is a way to leverage the NetApp to host these user shares (according to our sales rep) but I can't seem to find the info I am looking for as far as setup or best practice goes.  We have approximately 300 users and we are running our CIFS file share directly through the NetApp, and the space for the user shares will come from the same place.  What I am looking for is the best practice for hosting user shares through the NetApp or any recommendations on delpoying/maintaining user shares in a NetApp/Active Directory environment.  Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Re: Recommendations on how to host users shares on NetApp

Hi

Briefly, I think the features that you would want to use for this are :

1. The home directories facility : This allows you to specify specific folder or folders (it will try them in order) to act in a special way, where a user will see a share with the same name as their AD user name.

ie On filer123 the admin sets the home directories value to /vol/homedirs (not a CIFS share, this is just the NetApp volume name), and creates a folder called aduser567 then if I'm user aduser567 I can see a share called \\filer123\aduser567 and have all rights to it. No other user can see this share (except admins if you set it up to, via a options command).

2. Qtrees : these are special folders you create which can have a quota on them based per user or in total.

Combine the two: you could have some users with a home drive limited to 100GB and others with a limit of 250GB, but setting the home dir to two different qtrees.

Re: Recommendations on how to host users shares on NetApp

Thanks that helped me get me started on where to go with this.  But it also has led me to more questions.

Currently my plan of attack is this:

1. Set up home directories on a separate CIFS share than my file server (that seemed to be the best practice guideline...I honestly don't care if it is on the file server or not, I just want to do this right).

2. Enable home directories and point it to the newly created CIFS share

3. Create qtrees on the new volume to manage  2-3 different tiers of storage quotas (exec, normal user, etc) which will probably be managed per group rather than per user

Now here are my questions:

1. It sounds like from what you are saying, I don't actually have to make the home directories volume a CIFS share to make it work:

On filer123 the admin sets the home directories value to /vol/homedirs (not a CIFS share, this is just the NetApp volume name), and creates a folder called aduser567 then if I'm user aduser567 I can see a share called \\filer123\aduser567 and have all rights to it. No other user can see this share (except admins if you set it up to, via a options command).

I am having some trouble making sense of how this would work...but if it does work that would be great.  I guess I just figured it would need to be a CIFS share so it would properly share out to my network.  Any help or direction on this would be great and it might save me the hassle of either a) setting up home directories on my existing CIFS share or b) creating a new one.

2. Like I said, I am new to NetApp so the concept of qtrees is new to me as well.  I don't really understand what exactly qtrees are or what they do.  From what I can gather they are used to essentially partition out a volume and you can control each "partition" with quotas or whatever.  When you browse to a qtree say in Windows Explorer, does it just show up as a folder or something?  And if I want to set up a tiered storage approach can I simply just create a qtree for each tier?

Thanks in advance for your help!

Re: Recommendations on how to host users shares on NetApp

Hi

Sorry for the delay in replying.

1. The home directories truly doesn't need to be a share, but you'll still need some way of creating the folders with the NT usernames (could be done via the filer command line or via NFS, I guess. Note if you rename a folder the link to the NT username is lost.

2. Qtrees. you've pretty much got it, they can be thought of like folders, which you can set a quota on, either an overall limit, a per user limit or by group. What you can't do is make a folder a qtree tree retrospectively.