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What's New in File Server Resource Manager in Windows Server 2008 R2

Updated: February 7, 2009

Applies To: Windows Server 2008 R2

In Windows Server® 2008 R2, the improvements to File Server Resource Manager (FSRM) are aimed at simplifying information management on Windows servers by supporting the classification of files and applying policy based on that classification. IT administrators can use the new functionality to automatically classify files, run reports, and apply classification-based file expiration and custom operations to files on servers. The sections that follow describe the improvements made in FSRM between Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

The following groups will especially benefit from these changes:

  • IT administrators who want to automatically classify files on servers

  • IT administrators who want to enforce file expiration policy by creating file management tasks

  • IT administrators who want to automatically run commands or scripts on files, based on their location, classification properties, or time metadata

The following changes are available in Windows Server 2008 R2:

  • File classification. The file classification feature in Windows Server 2008 R2 provides an extensible end-to-end mechanism to automatically assign classification information to files on file servers and apply policy to them based on that information. User interaction can be minimized to reduce overall TCO and enable Compliance scenarios.

  • File management tasks. File management tasks simplify the process of finding subsets of files on a server and applying simple commands to them. You can use the included File Expiration task, or create your own custom tasks. Tasks can be scheduled to run periodically to reduce repetitive costs. File management tasks can also be configured to notify file owners of any impending policy that will be applied to their files.

You can use file classification to perform the following actions:

  • Define classification properties and values, which can be assigned to files by running classification rules.

  • Create, update, and run classification rules. Each rule assigns a single predefined property and value to files within a specified directory, based on installed classification plug-ins.

  • When running a classification rule, optionally re-evaluate files that are already classified. You can choose to overwrite existing classification values, or add the value to properties that support multiple values.

Currently, IT administrators deploy a variety of tools to manage their data. Because these tools manage different and overlapping sets of data, storage tends to be structured around data management. Classification allows the organization to structure storage for business instead, while still allowing the efficient management of data.

You can use file management tasks to perform the following actions:

  • Create and update file expiration tasks, which move all files that match a set of criteria to a specified directory where an administrator can then back up and delete the files. Files can be set to expire based on classification values, or after a specified number of days since the file was created, modified, or last accessed.

  • Create and update custom tasks, which allow you to run a command or script in a specified working directory.

  • Send e-mail notifications, send a warning to the event log, or run a command or script at a specified number of days before the file management task is scheduled to run.

File management tasks are a powerful mechanism to apply a command to a set of files on a scheduled basis. The flexibility provided through file management allows the simplification of a variety of administrative tasks. File expiration is one application that directly addresses a core need of file system administrators.

This feature is available in all editions of Windows Server 2008 R2.

Administrators should be aware of the following issues when using file classification and file management tasks:

  • Encrypted files cannot be classified, and properties cannot be stored for them. If a file that was previously classified becomes encrypted, policy will no longer be applied to that file.

  • File classification makes use of alternate data streams. Any file system or file container (such as an archive, e-mail attachment, or embedded file) that does not support alternate data streams may not retain classification properties by default.

  • Files that are not readable by SYSTEM cannot be classified.

  • Files that are not writable by SYSTEM will not retain their classification when moved.

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