Standard Windows File Service

Service Description

Windows File Service (WFS) provides IT departments scalable and secure file-based storage targeted towards Windows clients. File sharing is provided via the CIFS (SMBv2/SMBv3) protocol; the standard method provided by a Windows file server.  Client computers which are capable of connecting via SMB can use this service.

This storage service is designed for IT departments to support larger data volumes, and replace the need for running a Windows file server.

The following features are included:

  • CIFS/SMB access from UW campus subnets (Off-campus access requires a UW VPN)
  • Self-service file restores and versioning via Windows “Previous Versions”
  • Self-service access control via UW NetIDs and UW Groups
  • Distributed File Service (DFS) integration
  • Modern storage features such as SSD auto-tiering and Noisy Neighbor controls
  • Usage-based daily average billing
  • Encryption At-Rest via Self-Encrypting Drives (SED)
  • Daily backups to separate geo-regions (Only for File Storage with Backups)

Service Options

The following service options are available:

  • File Storage with Daily Backups
  • File Storage without Daily Backups (customer is responsible for backups)
  • Enforced Encryption In-Transit (via SMBv3 encryption)
  • Daily Audit Logging (stored and self-managed on the customer file-share)


For IT departments with UW faculty; UW staff; UW researchers; UW clinicians; UW academic units; UW administrative units; UW Medical Center; Harborview Medical Center; requires a valid UW budget number.

This service is intended for IT departments to provide file-services to their customers.  This storage service is not intended for an individual customer.

How to Order

To request a Windows File Service share, please submit this Request Form. You will be asked for details regarding your storage needs, amount of data, how it will be used, budget number, etc.

For additional information or general questions please:

Email include "Windows File Service (WFS)" in the subject.


Hours available: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week


Type of Service Cost Per
File Storage with Backup $0.05 GB per Month
File Storage without Backup* $0.01 GB per Month
Setup $260.00 Request
Additional Consulting $130.00 Hour

*Note:  File Storage without Backup requires additional review and approval.  When using this option, backups for disaster recovery are solely the customer's responsibility.  Any resulting data loss due to customer backup failures or no customer backup is also solely the customer's responsibility.

*FY 2019 Rates are valid until October 1, 2019.

Service Level Description

UW-IT responds to general support requests within 1 business day; response can be escalated if there is a critical incident. Our goal is to minimize user downtime by responding as quickly as possible.

This service is monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. On-call staff are available for critical incident response.

Additional Information


This service is considered "HIPAA Aligned", meaning the core required compliance features are available for customers to implement and manage. The ongoing use of these compliance features are the customer's responsibility.

This service has been reviewed by UW Medicine Security through the Service Provider Assessment process. Please note there have been no formal third-party compliance reviews, only UW internal reviews.

Backup Retention Policy:  For File Storage with Backups

  • Most recent version of all files stored indefinitely, until file is deleted
  • Up to 6 previous versions are retained for 45 days
  • Deleted files are preserved for 60 days
  • Two copies of all files are preserved, each in a separate data center, seismic zone and geo-region

Support Information

Support is provided by the UW Information Technology Service Center.

Business Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Phone: 206-221-5000
Online: Send us a question
In-person: Walk-in locations


Last Review Date: 2/20/2019