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Creating A File Share

Creating A File Share

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Published by: vishal3479 on Feb 09, 2011
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05/14/2012

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Creating A File Share
If you want to share in the files that are stored on a server, you'll have to first create a fileshare. A file share is essentially a designated entry point through which users can accessthe files. The reason why a file share is necessary is because it would be a huge securityrisk to share the full contents of the server.Creating a file share is simple. To do so, begin the process by creating a folder in thelocation where you want the shared data to reside. For example, many file servers have adesignated storage array or a data drive whose sole purpose is to store data (as opposed to program files and operating system components).In most cases, you'll probably have quite a few folders worth of data that you need toshare. It is also common for each of these folders to have its own unique securityrequirements. You can create a separate share for each folder, but doing so is usuallyconsidered to be a bad idea unless each share resides on a different volume. There areexceptions to every rule, but in most cases you will only want to create one file share per volume. You can place all of your folders within this single file share, and then assign thenecessary permissions on a per folder basis. As this discussion progresses, you'll begin tounderstand why creating multiple file sharers is such a bad idea.If you've already got a bunch of folders in place, and don't worry about it. You can easilycreate a new folder and then move your existing folders into the new folder. Another option is to create a file share at the volume level, in which case you would not have tomove the existing folders.For the purposes of this article, I'm going to assume that you've created a folder that willcontain subfolders beneath it, and that you will be sharing this top level folder. Once youhave created your folder, right-click on it and choose the Sharing and Security commandfrom the resulting shortcut menu. When you do, you will see the folder's properties sheet,as shown in Figure A.
 
Figure A:
The Sharing tab gives you the option of sharing the folder As you can see in the figure, the Sharing tab allows you to control whether or not thefolder is shared. When you select the Share this Folder option, you will be prompted toenter a share name. The name that you choose is very important. Windows isn't nearly as picky as it used to be about share names, but even so, I would recommend that you keepthe share name under 16 characters and avoid using spaces or symbols for backwardcompatibility purposes. I should also mention that if you were to make the last character of the share name a dollar sign, then the share that you are creating becomes invisible.This is known as a hidden share. Windows offers several different hidden shares bydefault, and I will talk more about hidden shares later in the series.The Comment field allows you to enter a comment about what the share is used for. Thisis purely for administrative purposes. Comments are optional, but documenting shares isnever a bad idea. Now take a look at the User Limit section. You will notice in the figure that the user limitis set by default to Maximum Allowed. Anytime that you deploy a Windows server, youmust have the necessary client access licenses in place. You have the option of either a purchasing licenses for each individual client, or licensing the server to support a specificnumber of connections. Assuming that you have multiple servers, it is usually less
 
expensive to license clients rather than an individual servers. At any rate, when the user limit is set to Maximum Allowed, it means that an unlimited number of clients canconnect to the share until the number of connections meets the number of licenses thatyou have purchased. If you're using a per client licensing model, then access to the shareis technically unlimited, but it's still up to use make sure that you have a license for everyclient.Your other option is to allow a specific number of users to connect to the share. Thisoption has a lot less to do with licensing than it does performance. Lower end hardwaremay not be able to support a large number of client connections. Therefore, Microsoftgives you the option of limiting the number of simultaneous connections to the share, soas not to overwhelm your hardware.
Conclusion
In this article, I have begun talking about the ways in which resources are shared on anetwork. In the next article in this series, when you how to set permissions on the sharethat you're creating.
Securing a Share
Although the entire point of creating a share is to allow users on your network to accessthe resources contained within the share, you still have to be careful about what level of access the users are given to those resources. For example, suppose that your humanresources department has created a spreadsheet that lists the salary information for everyemployee in your company. Now suppose that everybody in human resources needs to beable to access the spreadsheet, and to make updates to it. Since the finance department isresponsible for printing paychecks, they need to have access to the spreadsheet too, butyou probably do not want them to be making any changes to it. Given the sensitive natureof the information in the spreadsheet, you probably would not want anyone else in thecompany to have access to it. With that in mind, let us take a look at how this type of security could be implemented.The first thing that you need to understand about the share that you have created, is thatthere are two different types of security that you can apply to it. You have a choice of using share level security, file level security, or both.Share level security applies directly to the share point that you have created. When theusers connect to the SharePoint to access the files, the share level permissions that youhave set are applied. In contrast, file level permissions are applied directly to files andfolders rather than to the share.The reason why there are two different types of permissions has a little bit to do with theevolution of Windows. The Windows operating system supports two different hard driveformats; FAT and NTFS. FAT is a legacy file system that has been around since the early

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