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Limit the amount of space used per website (quotas)

(Kristofer Gafvert, March 16, 2005)

Disk Quotas in Windows

For shared hosting, it may be a good idea to control how much disk space a customer may use. If this is not done, one customer can easily fill up the hard drive(s) with content, using the webserver as a storage for files. Internet Information Services (IIS) is "only" a webserver, and does not control the disk space used by each customer. Instead, IIS relies on the Disk Quota Service for this task. Disk Quotas in Windows Server 2003 is set on a volume basis, and the volume needs to be NTFS formatted. And of course, each user must have a Windows User Account (or Active Directory (AD) account if AD is implemented as a central user database for website customers).

Other solutions

It may also be possible to use a third-party FTP server to configure quotas (the FTP Server in IIS does not do this). Some FTP-servers have this feature. This may however have some side-effects, depending on how this is implemented. Imagine for example that your customers use another way to upload files (for example by using ASP), and that the feature in the FTP server does not check this. Then a customer would be able to upload files of an umlimited size. So whatever is used for quotas should monitor the file system.

There are also other third-party Disk Quota Management Software that may be more advanced and better suited for a specific task. Some people for example prefer to set a limit on folder basis instead of volume (because each customer may have their own folder for content).

Yet another way to limit disk space usage is to monitor disk usages, but not actively deny customers to upload content when they get above the limit. Advantages and disadvantages of this can be discussed further in the organisation (customer experience vs costs).

Applies to [?]

IIS 6.0


Disk Quotas Technical Reference
How to Enable Disk Quotas in Windows 2000
Enable Disk Quotas (Windows Server 2003)