Information Technology Services

Network File Services and Storage Policies


What is the purpose of these policies?

Information Technology Services (ITS) provides centralized network file storage, sharing and backup services to individuals, groups and departments across the University. Centralized electronic storage is a community resource and these policies are intended to ensure equitable usage of this shared commodity.

What are file shares?

A file server is a computer running software with the primary purpose of facilitating storage for and access to that storage by users on the network. "File shares" are individual storage folders on the file server to which users have access. At Clark, the primary purpose of file shares is to provide a centralized storage location for work-related files and data. For faculty, file shares may also contain data and files developed by students in association with coursework. Typically, files saved on the file shares would include Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, email archives and any other critical data and user-created content. In general, file shares would not include programs and applications (i.e., files ending with ".exe"). The "share" part of the term refers to the ability to create electronic storage folders that can be accessed by multiple users, such as for a department or course.

Is the file server secure?

The file server has been designed to provide users with a secure, backed-up space, to store data and files. It is much more secure than storing files and data on your computer's local hard drive. Over time, we have seen many members of the Clark University community lose their critical data due to disk failures, theft, viruses and accidental deletion, among other things. We have configured the file server to be as secure and reliable as possible. Its hard drives are set up in a replicated mode (called a RAID), which ensures that, even in the event of a hard disk failure, no data is lost. These disks are also backed up every night.

Who can request a file share?

There are currently four (4) types of file shares on the central storage server:

Personal File Shares: A personal file share is automatically created for each faculty, staff and student at Clark University upon generation of each user's Clark Account. This storage area is available for personal use and cannot be shared with others. Each user has full control over his/her files in this space, including the ability to create, update/edit and delete files. In cases where the University has a contractual agreement with outside vendors (such as campus food service or the bookstore), key personnel for that vendor may also be granted personal file shares upon request.

Departmental File Shares: Academic and administrative departments can request file shares for groups of one or more faculty/staff/student workers to access. All users in the group must have a Clark Account (CLARKU or STUDENTS) to access a departmental file share. Files in this storage space are shared among those who have been identified as needing access. The owner of a departmental share determines who has access to all the files in the share as well as what type of access. The access options are "read-only," or "modify." This access can be granted on a person-by-person basis, to groups, or to everyone; access on an individual file or directory basis is not available.

Class/Course File Shares: Class files shares, for course-related student data storage, are available to faculty who teach courses where students generate data and require a place to store the data during the course. Space can be assigned to each student along with "modify" access granted on a per-student basis. Class file shares are considered temporary file shares and will be removed (deleting all content in the file share) 20 days after completion of the course.

Sponsored Research File Shares: Research files shares are available to faculty and staff associated with sponsored research projects. As with other shares, access permission can be configured on a per-user basis.

How do I request storage space on the file server?

For departmental go here or sponsored-research shares go here, the group should choose a faculty member or staff member as the share owner. In the case of class/course-related shares go here, the faculty member will be considered the share owner. The share owner will be the main point of contact with ITS regarding the share.

All requests for file shares be submitted in writing to the ITS Help Desk via the online application. The following information will be required:

  • Username, full name, campus phone number, OneCard Number, along with the status and academic/administrative department of person/owner requesting the share.
  • Usernames and full names of users along with their domain and permission level for the share.
  • Requested name for the share.
  • Purpose of the share.
  • Date the share and data in the share is no longer needed (if applicable).

What are the current file share quotas/limits?

A file share quota is the amount of disk/storage space that a user can utilize on the central server. To manage available disk space and ensure equitable availability of computing resources, ITS limits the amount of networked storage. Currently, the following default limits apply to University file shares.

  • Personal File Shares: 500MB
  • Departmental (Academic and Administrative) File Shares: 1GB
  • Class/Course File Shares (considered temporary shares – last as long as the course): 1GB
  • Sponsored Research File Shares: 500MB

Requests to increase share quotas will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Modifications to file shares must be submitted in writing to the ITS Help Desk. Increases in quota will be 50% of the then current quota unless another increment is specifically requested. The ITS Help Desk will require the following information to complete a quota modification:

  • Username and full name of user requesting the change
  • Name of the share the change is requested for
  • Reason for quota modification
  • Amount of quota modification (if applicable)
  • Term of quota modification (if applicable)

Additional quota in support of sponsored research is available for a fee.  The current fee is $75/year/5GB of storage.  Storage must be purchased in 5GB and one year increments.  

How do I access the file server?

Users' personal file shares are mapped automatically upon login on ITS managed computers running Windows. The drive will appear as an additional drive in the My Computer window with the letter designation "M". This is similar to the "C" drive designation typically used for the computer's primary hard drive. For instructions on mapping a drive to your personal file share on a Mac, UNIX-based, or non-ITS managed Windows computer, contact the ITS Help Desk at extension 7745 or refer to the ITS knowledge base document: Mapping a Network Drive.

Class/Course file shares will not map automatically. The faculty member who requests the share is responsible for relaying all share information, including the server path of the share, to the students who have access. Instructions on how to map a drive are available at the link above, or by calling the Help Desk at extension 7745.

Special group file shares such as departmental file shares, research file shares and student group files will not map automatically - these shares need to be mapped for each faculty, staff and/or student that has access to the share. For instructions on how to map a drive to a departmental share, please contact the ITS Help Desk at extension 7745.

How do I modify an existing file share?

Only the owner of the file share or an ITS system administrator can modify the settings of a share. If an owner would like assistance, he/she must submit the following information, in writing, to the ITS Help Desk:

  • Username and full name of the user requesting the change.
  • Name of the share the change is requested for.
  • Username, full name, and permission level requested for each user to be added/modified (if applicable).
  • Username and full name of each user to be removed (if applicable).

How and when is a file share removed?

If the owner of a share would like to have a share removed from the system, he/she must submit a request, in writing, to the ITS Help Desk. Only the owner of a share may request that it be removed. To remove a share, the following information is required:

  • Username and full name of user requesting the change
  • Name of the share the change is requested for
  • Date share can be removed

If ITS detects that a share has not been accessed within one year, the ITS Help Desk will contact the owner of the share to verify the share is still needed. The ITS Help Desk will contact the owner of the share (in writing via email) and if the owner does not respond within 20 business days, ITS reserves the right to remove the share.

The owner of the share is responsible for archiving the data on the share. Backup tapes of the University's central file server are for disaster recovery purposes only. The ITS Help Desk will assist the owner in backing up their data by request.

Who do I contact in the event of a file share policy dispute?

The Chief Information Officer is charged with the responsibility to periodically review the policy and propose changes as needed.


Date of Creation: March, 2008
Date of Last Update: June, 2012