- About Us
- Current Students
Domain and File Share Services
ECE is migrating to Active Directory for domain logins and file services. Over time, the ECE domain will will be phased out, in favour of the Active Directory (AD) domain.
What is it?
Active Directory is Microsoft's version of an LDAP based network directory service. It allows administrators to define, arrange and manage objects, such as user data, printers and servers, so they are available to users and applications throughout the organization.
Why do we need Active Directory?
Active Directory helps reduce administrative tasks by providing automated group membership information, by leveraging human resource appointment records and SIS registration records. AD uses authoritative sources of the Queen's Directory Service to increase the security of user accounts in the windows environment, and simplifes resource sharing across departments.
Basically, the system leverages the master NetID authentication scheme for granting access to the Queen's domain and associated services, including file share.
How do I get an Active Directory account?
A request to Footprints initiates the process. Office computers, lab computers, and resources like printers can be added to the directory. The technical services team will consult with you on your needs and make the migration. Each machine can take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes to migrate. Once migrated, users login to their computers using their NetID account.
What is the cost of Active Directory?
There is no charge to join the domain.
What about File Services?
Once a Windows computer is added to the domain, users can login to that computer using their NetID account. Once logged in, users will see two additional network resources added to their machine - an I drive (ECE) and an H drive (NetID). The I drive provides collaboration space for research groups and office space for access to common files like phone directories. Research groups have been setup on the I drive, in addition to graduate student folders within their PI's research folder. PI's can use this folder setup to collaborate with individual students in their folders, or collaborate on common files within their lab folder.
The H drive is a personal storage repository that is only accessible to the individual.
How secure is the data on the file share?
The data is stored on the ITServices SAN. This disk array is fault tolerant, has multiple points of failure, is protected from intrusion by firewalls, and is redundant. The file share also stores 7 versions of each file, so you can over-write a file 6 times and still get back the original version. Deleted files are stored for 30 days, after which point they are purged from the system.
How much storage is allocated to the file share?
The common I (ECE) share is managed by the department, and storage is added when necessary. Usage is monitored, and this repository is NOT meant to store huge volumes of data, but instead is meant primarily to store research papers and other summary information. Raw data should be stored elsewhere - contact Greg MacLeod to review options.
1GB of storage space is allocated to each H (personal) drive. Additional blocks of storage in 1GB increments can be acquired for $50 per year.
Sounds expensive - why would I use it?
On initial observation, the solution does seem expensive. However, when you consider the features being offered, and the intended use of the service, it is more economical.
Remember, the file share is NOT intended to store raw experimental data, but rather summary findings. Important documents that you need to have properly secured should be stored here. The benefits include:
- The fully redundant system,
- help desk support,
- 7 version storage of files,
- 30 day storage of deleted files,
- NetID-based account access,
- collaboration with other users in your research group,
- and remote access via Virtual Private Networking.
AD provides an excellent way of securing your important information. Almost every week in Technical Services, we have systems reported with hard drive failures and loss of data.