The Well-Tuned Server, Part 1
Subject:   Quota and Offline Folders
Date:   2004-03-17 17:29:21
From:   asmac
A serious quota gotcha we've encountered occurs when quotas are coupled with laptop users' offline folders. Quota doesn't apply when users are offline but kicks in when synchronization occurs. Users claim to have lost files -- at the very least they can't see files they saved when offline when they go online. Very confusing. Suggestion to MS: place a quota on the offline folder equal to that on the network folder.
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  • Mitch Tulloch photo Quota and Offline Folders
    2004-03-18 11:38:02  Mitch Tulloch | O'Reilly Author [View]

    Yes, unfortunately folder redirection doesn't work with mobile users so you can't just redirect their My Documents folder to the file server as they won't have access to their files when they're offline. You have to use offline folders, which stores copies of their files locally for offline use. But if their home folder on the file server is managed using disk quotas, then problems like you describe can arise.

    One possible workaround might be to use Group Policy to configure soft quota limits on all your client machines. The settings are found in:

    Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Disk Quotas

    You could use this to configure the same quota limits on client machines as those configured on your file server, except use soft quotas only so that users are warned when they are reaching their quota while working offline.
    • Quota and Offline Folders
      2004-03-25 06:52:11  asmac [View]

      Thanks, I wasn't aware of that possibility. Unfortunately, it's not practical in our case as we have over 500 laptops and 1000 users to support and there are many custom quotas set in response to individual user needs. Admininstering quotas once thru the quota system and then duplicating these settings thru group policy would be an unacceptable admin burden and woul likely lead to lots of problems.
      Also, experience tells me that warnings would not help much as users tend to ignore them and my it's my responsibility to protect users from themselves.
      The only true solution it to for MS to integrate quotas and offline folders...
      • Mitch Tulloch photo Quota and Offline Folders
        2004-03-25 11:59:46  Mitch Tulloch | O'Reilly Author [View]

        I can see your point, for although Group Policy is intended to *reduce* admin burden not increase it, you have to plan carefully how to implement Group Policy for it to work effectively. If you have different kinds of users in different OUs then you could link a new GPO to each OU, configure a quota setting appropriate for that kind of user, and mark it No Override. But if your users are lumped togehter into OUs by location instead of business function then there's no easy way of using GP to set quotas. Too bad also that quotas can only be set for users and not for global groups, it would make life easier for some setups...