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Central File Storage for Groups

The University of Kansas Central File Storage (CFS) Service provides high-performance, easily accessible file sharing services to KU Departments and collaborative groups.  This service is designed to address traditional and large file storage needs where document management is not required.  Storage is made available in increments of 50 gigabytes (GB) and is accessible within the KU network or remotely via the KU Anywhere VPN service.

Departments wishing to utilize the KU Central File Storage Service need to visit the "Requesting KU Central File Storage Service" section located below.

If you need support regarding the KU Central File Storage Service, please see the "Support" section below.

Suggested Uses of the KU Central File Storage Service

  • Bulk file storage via traditional Windows file sharing
  • Document stores
  • Image archives
  • Audio/Video archives
  • Small databases
  • Applications
  • Web site content storage
  • At rest Research Data Sets

Non-Approved Uses of the KU Central File Storage Service

  • HIPAA classified health or human identifiable medical data
  • PCI classified e-commerce related data

For Storing HIPAA and PCI data special permissions and processes are required and can be discussed during the design process.

Preparing for KU Central File Storage Service:

  • KU IT strongly recommends users authenticating to Active Directory for easier management of access control and drive mapping. If you want to migrate your users to AD, please see the AD website or contact the KU IT Customer Service Center at 864-8080 or itcsc@ku.edu for more information.
  • Review the information above to make sure this is the right solution for your storage needs.
  • To request storage visit the "Requesting KU Central File Storage Service" section below.

Shared Management Responsibilities

Responsibility for management of the storage resources allocated to departments and groups is built upon a formally defined collaboration between designated departmental Technical Liaisons (TLs) and KU IT.

A departmental Technical Liaison (TL) is designated within each department and serves as the only person authorized to request changes for access to or removal of departmental data. This provides a simple accountability trail and eliminates confusion around questions of who is ultimately responsible for defining access to or removal of all departmental folders.

KU IT provides highly skilled storage experts who are tasked with monitoring the performance, capacity, and accessibility of departmental data.  The KU Central File Storage Service infrastructure is monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year.  KU IT staff are on-call during in the event of system failure.  Clients will be notified at least two business days in advance of any scheduled maintenance requiring the service to be taken off-line.

Storage Allotment

Group collaborative shares are available in increments of 50 gigabytes (GB). TL's can request quota increases for group storage based on a business justification. To request an increase please fill out the KU Central File Storage Group Share Increase Request form.

Remote Access to Files

Users can access their stored folders and files from home or a remote location by connecting to the server through the KUAnywhere Virtual Private Network (VPN) service. The use of VPN technology ensures that access to files is protected when using the Internet for connectivity.  Please note: users will not be able to login to the HOME domain from outside of KU and should utilize permanent (persistent) mapping of shares, a script to mount shares, or manual mapping in order to access their network drives.

Authentication

Authentication for the Central File Storage service is provided through the KU Active Directory HOME domain.  An Active Directory user account in the HOME domain is required to access this service.  Guest users can obtain temporary "File Server" access through the KU IT Temporary Service Account request process.

Authorization

Authorization, or the individual who has access to the files, in any given departmental share is delegated to the Technical Liaison(s). An Active Directory group, which will be created in the department’s Active Directory Organizational Unit (OU), determines who has access and their type of access to the share. The Technical Liaison(s) can also provide access to any other KU Active Directory group or user. For best practices on how to set permissions please read Best Practices for Assigning Rights in Group Central File Storage.

Mapping Drives

Files are served via the traditional Windows SMB/CIFS file sharing protocol and can be mapped using standard drive mappings.

Windows

The following methods have been identified for providing mapping of shares under Windows:

  • Manual mapping of network drives through the "Map Network Drive" option under Windows Explorer
      Windows XP example
      Windows 7 example
  • Automatic mapping of drives through login scripts (See Example)
  • Automatic mapping drives through Windows Group Policy Preferences (GPP)
OS/X

The following methods have been identified for providing mapping of shares under OS/X:

  • Manual mapping of network drives through the "Connect to Server" option in Finder (See Example)
  • Mapping network drives through the user’s "Login Items" in his or her account settings (See Example)

Migration

Migration of data not residing on resources managed by KU IT will be the responsibility of the Technical Liaison(s). Tested procedures and best practice documentation for migration will be provided by KU IT during the design process.

Support

Your designated department technical staff is authorized to request changes for access to or removal of departmental data.  They also serve as the first tier of support.

Second tier support is provided through the KU IT Customer Services Center at 785-864-8080 or itcsc@ku.edu.

Requesting KU Central File Storage Service

Follow these easy steps to request KU Central File Storage Service:

  1. Review the information above to make sure this is the right solution for your storage needs.
  2. Complete an official "Central File Storage Service Request" (Please note that a Departmental Sponsor must be specified.  The Sponsor is a person at the Dean, Director or Chair level who provides fiscal authorization to proceed.)
  3. KU IT will contact the customer within seven days of receipt of the File Server Request form and schedule a meeting to further clarify expectations and customer requirements.

 


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