Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition - setup for sharing files

When I first started downloading files, almost a decade and a half ago, I would just download everything to one directory, using whatever name the file originally had when I was downloading it.

In the last couple of years I've been trying (despite Chrome's default method trying to push be back) to be much better about saving files, by creating a directory with the full name of the application - "Microsoft Web Platform Installer" - and then saving the file(s) into that directory.

However, I do lose track of how many previous versions I have of particular applications (I try to only have the current and one version back) and how much total I'm storing.

Since my server is setup for the Web and Subversion, it was time to look at the next step, which is storing files to it, so that I can access with my other machines.

Luckily Windows Server 2008 has a File Services role which allows the setup of shared folders over a network. The File Server role service is necessary, and based on what it seems to provide (not having worked with it before), File Server Resource Manager (FSRM) seemed to be a good bet as well.

Storage Monitoring gives another screen that allows for a volume to be monitored, and reports to be generated, but since at this point I want to monitor directories instead of volumes, I opted to skip past that by just pressing Next.

With that done I'm left with the question, especially (I think) since I'll probably put in a second hard drive in the next couple of months, whether I should create a Virtual Hard Drive (VHD) with the downloads stored to it. At this point I'm at about 40 GB of files, though, and I'm not sure it would really be a benefit. So while more research is needed into the benefits of VHD, I opted to just create a new directory in the root of C called downloads.

Now I want my PCs and laptop to be able to access this directory, as well as save files to it. I create a new user (Server Manager > Configuration > Local Users and Groups > Users) that the three will all use to access the machine (and I'm okay with one account being shared over the three machines). Users cannot change the password and it'll never expire. With the account setup I share C:\downloads\ with the new account, giving it Read/Write permissions.

Since it was initially setup as being on a public network (just by default), I'm prompted on whether I want to turn on network discovery and file sharing for public networks, of if I'm connected to a private network (home/workplace). In my case it's definitely the latter. Even though network discovery continued to be turned off, I was still able to access the share using the user account I had setup (so long as I didn't try adding the domain to the end).

With that done I opened File Server Resource Manager and added a quota to C:\downloads\. The built-in templates didn't work for me, so I created one with a 50 GB soft limit, that generates an event log entry if the quota is reached, and generates reports for large files and least recently accessed files, when usage reaches the default of 85%.

And now it's just a matter of move files to the server.