Network Shares

Posted By on February 7, 2014

The systems office over the years have received many questions regarding the network shares and their purpose. With this post we would like to clear things up and hopefully create a more productive and stable environment for everyone.

First off, what are network shares?
Network shares are your home space ( H: ), drop box ( T: ), and collaborative spaces ( I: ). They are storage space on servers which are located elsewhere on campus (with the exception of the collaborative space, which is located at Montgomery Hall) and mounted to the computer at user login.

What are the network shares for?
Each share has their own purpose;
The home space ( H: ) should be used for storage / backup of a user’s personal files.
The drop box ( T: ) should be used for distributing class resources and to turn in class assignments.
The collaborative spaces ( I: ) are to be used for group projects, storing, and distributing files.

What are network shares NOT for?
Network shares have a lot of uses, but they should not be worked on or saved to directly.

Network-shares-notice_02

Why?
Although it is convenient to work off and save to your home space or drop box directly, you often risk corrupting your files and losing hours or even days of work. In some cases it may even prevent you from working, either due to an unexpected network outage or to excessive network traffic during midterms or finals. In addition, the network shares are often limiting in storage space for work purposes. Working with applications such as Maya, Photoshop, Zbrush, Harmony, and others can sometimes fill the space and disable the ability to write to the share and crash the application or most of the time prevent saving the file.

What is the alternative?
Work local ( D: on Windows and the “Work folder” on OSX ) and copy a backup to your network shares. By working locally you will no longer have to worry if the network will disconnect or about high traffic causing inconsistencies in file transfers.

We recommend, in addition to working locally, to invest in a stable external storage device such as an external hard drive or flash drive. Backing up to multiple storage options insures you will never have to worry about losing your work. If you need assistance formatting your external storage device, please feel free to visit us in the systems office next to the cage.

We hope this helps and encourage any questions you may have to be submitted to us via problem report.