Tuesday, February 16, 2010

MySites and Quotas: The Nuances

Jeremy Williams, Sr. Director, Modern Workplace

Site Quotas in SharePoint 2007 are a great tool, but they can sometimes be misunderstood.  One of the most common confusions with quotas comes with their interaction with MySites.  MySites (IMHO) are a great feature of SharePoint 2007, and are only getting better in SharePoint 2010.  However, the adoption of MySites in many organizations is organic and unplanned.  Right around the time that MySites near critical mass, the desire to wrap some additional governance around the sites crops up.  Arguably, one of the most obvious governance tools for MySites is a Site Quota.  So the governance committee decides on some thresholds and passes the implementation down to their Farm Administrators… 

Let’s put on our ‘Farm Administrator’ hat…

I need to enforce a Personal Site quota on my users, so I’ll just set up the thresholds on the Personal Site quota template, and apply that to MySites.  After that, everyone now has that quota, right? Wrong! 

Okay, so that didn’t work and now I’m getting yelled at because users are uploading their personal photo and music collections to their MySites, thereby eating up all the space on our SAN.  Since editing the quota template didn’t do the trick, let’s go ahead and create a new template and apply that to MySites.  Alright, now everyone has that quota right? Wrong Again!  [Aside: Remember, you can always block certain file extensions from ever being uploaded to SharePoint in Central Administration.]

 Darn it SharePoint, you’re really raining on my parade, what am I doing wrong?!?!

Like many really annoying problems, this boils down to semantics…Quotas are called ‘Quota Templates’ for a reason, they are a template, and act just like a  site template would.  After applying a template, if I make a change to the template, all new sites using the template will take the new values; but the old sites will remain static.  Here’s a laundry list of nuances, and a quick demo/proof of this behavior:

  • To reliably change the quotas of MySites, don’t create a new template, you’ll just want to edit the Personal Site Template.  I’m not saying that you can’t create your own templates, but why work harder if you can work smarter?
  • Quotas act like site templates; they’re a snapshot…So if I make site A when personal site quota = 10/8; then I change the quota to 50/40 and create site B, site B quota = 50/40, site A quota = 10/8
  • Don’t always rely on Central Admin to tell you the truth about site quotas and what a particular collection’s quota is; instead use the stsadm –o enumsites command.  Screen-cap below:


    • Administrator was a manually set quota
    • Test1 was using the initial Personal Site Template Quota
    • Then I changed the Personal Site Template Quota, did an iisreset for good measure, and made test2’s MySite.
    • So Test 1 and Test 2 used the same template, however they have different values since the template was different during each site’s respective build-time.

At the end of the day, the best approach is to properly plan for MySites and enact a reasonable quota template right from the beginning.  If that isn’t an option, you can customize (or search for other’s customizations/extension) stsadm.exe to iterate through MySites and manually apply your new template.