File Hosting

File Server Hosting allows your UF organization to lease fully managed file server resources (accessible via SMB or NFS) from UFIT's infrastructure. UFIT manages all the elements of purchasing and maintaining hardware resources and overall administration of servers. Your file server will live in UF's private file server cloud which may include NAS appliance failover across multiple physical locations to prevent downtime due to hardware failure or maintenance.

UFIT Provides

UFIT provides all compute and network hardware and infrastructure for the file server appliance. UFIT provisions your file space and works with your IT staff to assign administrative privileges and permit access via network ACLs and file share permissions.

Customer Provides

You will assign one or more of your IT team to fulfill the role of file share administrator. This role will manage snapshot restores, file-system security privileges, drive mappings, and other client-side configurations for users.


File Server Menu

Features Basic Tier Capacity Tier Performance Tier
Min/Max Size (above 10TB may require review and approval) 1TB/100TB 1TB/100TB 250GB/100TB
RAID Protection Yes Yes Yes
Mirroring No No No
High Availability Single Site Single Site Single Site
Snapshots (more info) Yes Yes Yes
Snapshot Schedule Limited Multiple Multiple
Nested Shares No No No
Nested Quotas No No No
Access Protocol File (SMB, NFS) File (SMB, NFS) File (SMB, NFS)
Encryption at Rest Yes Yes Yes
Encryption in Transit for Client Access Available for SMB Yes Yes
Maximum IOPS 1 128 IOPS/TB 15,000 IOPS/share 30,000 IOPS/share
Maximum Throughput 1 4MB/sec/TB 460MB/sec 940MB/sec
Replication Available (to a second local datacenter) Yes Yes Yes
Service failover (site disaster) Yes (Replicated Shares Only) Yes Yes
Encryption in Transit for Replication Yes Yes Yes
Backup Service Available No Yes Yes
Archive Service Available No Yes Yes

For more information about the terms used see Used Terms Definitions below.

Note: Actual performance may be limited by your client and network configuration.



Used Terms and Definitions

Term Definition and Use Cases
Performance Tier Business/department critical shared files. High throughput and performance for frequently accessed files.
Capacity Tier Default storage tier. Front office fileshares, large datasets, infrequent or occasionally accessed files.
Basic Tier Lowest cost durable storage. Limited performance, for files that are rarely accessed but need to be available online.
Size Currently defined in multiples of 250GB for Performance Tier and 1TB/1000GB for Basic and Capacity Tiers. Larger file share capacities may be available by request and require approval.
RAID Protection Provides industry standard Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID) protection via Parity and other redundancy mechanisms.
Mirroring Provides real-time near 0 RPO synchronous mirroring of data to other site (SSRB <--> UFDC), not user configurable.
High Availability Dual site provides controller-level redundancy and data availability cross-site in case of localized site disasters/outages; single site provides controller-level redundancy only.
Snapshot Point in time copy of a storage offering, saved for some time for potential resotration of the storage to the time the snapshot was taken. Snapshots exist on the primary storage system, so failures destroying primary data may affect snapshots too. Contrast with 'backup'.
Snapshot Schedules See "Snapshot Schedule Options" table.
Nested Shares Ability for a folder/directory within a share to also be shared via another name, usually with different connection permissions.
Nested Quotas Ability to assign a quota to a specific subdirectory within an existing larger quota.
Access Protocols File (SMB, NFS).
Encryption at Rest Industry-standard cryptographic ciphers encrypt your data before writing it to persistent storage. If a storage drive is lost or stolen, the data stored on it cannot be read. Required by many regulatory standards.
Encryption in Transit for Client Access Provides the ability to encrypt data between file server and client. Windows shares require the client to support SMB3 with encryption. Linux/Unix clients require Kerberos (krb5p) securityfor NFS exports. Additional client configuration may be required to enforce this setting. This feature may prevent unsupported clients from connecting to the share. Create a Service Request (SR) for assistance in disabling this feature.
Average IOPS Per TB A measure of file system performance. Average Input/Output Operations per Second per TB.
Cost Cost per unit per Month. Unit may be either 250G or 1000G (1TB), depending upon tier.
Replication Copying a share/export from the primary site to a secondary site in the same local region. Available sites are UFDC and SSRB.
Limited Service failover (site disaster) for Basic Tier In the event of a disaster of the primary site, UFIT Storage Team will execute a service failover to the standby site. Only those file shares and exports configured for replication will be available. Non-replicated file shares and exports will remain unavailable. The following conditions and Service Level Expectations (SLEs) apply:
  • Recovery Time Objective (RTO) 1 hr: File Services may be available up to one hour after service failure occurs.
  • Recovery Point Objective (RPO) 1 hr: Up to an hour of changes to your data may be lost in the event of a service failover.
Service failover (site disaster) for Performance and Capacity Tier In the event of a disaster of the primary site, UFIT Storage Team will execute a service failover to the standby site. All file shares and exports will be available. The following conditions and Service Level Expectations (SLEs) apply:
  • Recovery Time Objective (RTO) 1 hr: File Services may be available up to one hour after service failure occurs.
  • Recovery Point Objective (RPO) 1 hr: Up to an hour of changes to your data may be lost in the event of a service failover.
Encryption in transit for Replication This refers to the availability and use of industry standard encryption in the replication of data from the primary site to a secondary site for shares configured for replication.
Backup A data copy stored in a physically independent system. Catastrophic failure of the primary system does not affect the "backup" copy. This is a "cold data copy", which takes time to be restored to production system in event of disaster or outage. Due to performance constraints, we cannot offer this service on the Basic Tier.
Archive Data which is intended to be stored for "a long time" in the view of the customer, seldom read, seldom re-written. Also referred to as a "vaulted" or "cold" copy. Takes longer than a backup to recover, reconstitute and recover to production systems. Due to performance constraints, we cannot offer this service on the Basic Tier.
SSRB UF Equipment Site, containing NAS clusters.
UFDC UF Equipment Site, containing NAS clusters.


Snapshot Schedule Options
Limited (Basic Tier) Once daily, retained for 7 days.
Multiple (Capacity and Performance Tiers) You can choose any of these schedules:
uf-1week Four times per day (once every 6 hours), retained for 5 days.
Once daily, retained for 7 days.
Default: uf-2week Includes "uf-1week" above, plus:
Once weekly, retained for 2 weeks.
uf-2month Includes "uf-2week" above, plus:
Once weekly, retained for 8 weeks.
Once monthly, retained for 2 months.
uf-6month Includes "uf-2month" above, plus:
Once monthly, retained for 6 months.

Snapshot Information

The daily/weekly/monthly snapshots are taken between midnight and 2AM.

The 6-hourly snapshots are taken at roughly 12:15AM, 6:15AM, 12:15PM, and 6:15PM.

Snapshots allow your users to perform file-level restores using the Windows "Previous Versions" (VSS) functionality, or via accessing the hidden ".snapshot" directory.

Should you require longer-term data protection or independent data backups, UFIT staff can assist you in configuring and maintaining a NSAM (TSM) backup service.

Advanced Client-side Configuration Recommendations

To minimize client disruption during migrations, you may ask the UFIT Microsoft Core Team to create a DFS namespace for the SMB share. Then, you may add the UNC paths in DFS and access their share in this manner, providing a consistent naming structure for your users. Linux/Unix users may configure the Linux automount client for NFS exports.

Linux clients may access encrypted SMB3 shares beginning with kernel version 4.8.0-54.57. RedHat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7.5 back-ported support via kernel-3.10.0-862.el7.

Linux clients accessing encrypted NFS exports must use Kerberos AD.UFL.EDU security tokens.