Where are you Disk Quota – Windows 2008?

by | May 2, 2016

As part of my role as a ‘Preventer Of Chaos’ at OptimalBI I manage SAS Installations on multiple client sites. I am often kept on my toes (a good thing) with having to know things about the multiple Operating Systems that these SAS environments run on. I am no way an expert when it comes down to knowing the finer details of any OS so when I get the odd question I sometimes scratch my head while thinking I know I have seen that somewhere, but where?
Recently I had one of those moments, a User reported that they were getting an I/O issue (insufficient disk space) while running some SAS code, however, all disks had ample capacity. They also mentioned that they previous Administrator had increased their quota when they received a similar message a while ago.
Before someone says anything about the site documentation, all I can say it is lacking in this area.
I knew SAS was not the one applying the quota and their SAS environment is running on Windows 2008 servers so where did I start to look?
First, I looked that the ‘Share and Storage Management’ as I knew no better. This showed that there was quota applied, however, I couldn’t work out a way to see what these were; Dead end.
Next was a quick google and most posts pointed to using ‘File Server Resource Manager’ which I duly opened; Excellent, there it was ‘Quota Management’ and ‘Quotas’. My joy was short lived, as none of the quota listed there are specific to a user or the numbers/limits the User mentioned.
One final head scratch, I was working from limited information from the User – at this stage I still hadn’t received details of the job they were running and where they were writing the data. Using my SAS Admin experience, I started to have a look at the SASWORK location (where SAS writes it’s temporary working datasets) which had its own dedicated disk/drive. RMB -> Properties, and there was a tab ‘Quota’.
No joy here either or was it; on first glance, the numbers/limits didn’t match up to what the User had described however they did align to what the they had said their limit was prior to the previous Admin changing. With some further snooping and clicking on the ‘Quota Entries’ button I found what I was looking for and sure enough, the User was listed here with a larger Quota limit (not shown in image).
As requested the quota was increased to match the rest of their team (so a happy User) however as the SAS Administrator I am wondering if we need to see what the user and whether there is a more efficient way.
As I said I am no way an expert in the finer details of all the Operating Systems out there and I while solving this issue for the User I have learned that there are at least two types of Storage Quota implemented in Windows 2008 Server; Disk Quota and File System or Directory Quota.
Disk quotas were introduced in Windows 2000 and are applied to specific users and limit the amount of disk space that user can use on a particular volume. Directory quotas are applied to all users and limit the amount of disk space that users can use in a particular folder and its subfolders. Directory quotas were introduced in Windows Server 2003 R2 with the new File Server Resource Manager.
You learn something every day.
Barry, Preventer of Chaos.
Barry blogs about how to stop chaos in your systems.
You can read all of Barry’s blogs here.
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