File Server Resource Manager (FSRM) Overview

File Server Resource Manager (FSRM) is a Microsoft Windows Server role created for managing and classifying data stored on file servers. It includes some interesting features which can be configured by using the File Server Resource Manager snap-in or by using Windows PowerShell.

Here’s an overview of the features included in the FSRM.

File Classification Infrastructure

This offers automatic classification process based on custom properties with the purpose of an easier and a more effective way of managing files.

It classifies files and applies policies based on that classification. Once files are classified, a management task can be either public or private. As an example, we can take public or private file classification. Once the files have set class, a management task can be created to perform some actions on a file (RMS encryption for example).

It can be instructed to perform encryption on files classified as private but exclude files classified as public.

File Management Task

Enables applying of conditional policy or action to files based on classification. Conditions of the policies can include file location, classification properties, file creation date, file modification date, or date of last access to file.

The tasks that can be managed are ability to expire files, encrypt files, or run some custom command.

Quota Management

This allows a limitation of allowed space for a volume or folder. Quotas are automatically applied to new folders that are created on a volume. It is possible to define quota templates which can be applied to new volumes or folders.

File Screening Management

This provides control over the type of files that can be stored on a server. For example, the user can create file screen which does not allow storing JPEG files in the personal shared folder on a file server.

Storage Reports

Storage reports are used to help identify trends in disk usage and classification of user data. It can monitor selected groups of users and restrict attempts to save unauthorized files.

Important thing to notice is that File Server Resource Manager supports only NTFS File System format and does not support the Resilient File System (ReFS).

Practical Applications

Some practical applications for File Server Resource Manager include:

  • If File Classification Infrastructure is used with the Dynamic Access Control, a policy that grants access to files and folders based on the way files are classified on the file server.
  • The user can create File Classification rule which tags any file that contains at least 10 Social Security numbers as personal pieces of the information file.
  • Any file that has not been modified in the last 10 years can be set as expired.
  • Quotas (i.e. 200 MB) can be created per user. A notification to the admin user can also be set when the quota is at 80% (i.e. 180 MB of 200).
  • It is possible to schedule a report which runs at the specific time weekly with a purpose of generating a list of most recently accessed files from a previously selected period. This can help the admin user determine the weekend storage activity and plan server downtime accordingly.
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