File Storage Strategy

Last updated: August 12, 2022

You have many options for file storage and you may want your entire group using the same ones.  These include Microsoft OneDrive for Business, UW Google Drive, and U Drive.

You can see a file service comparison chart here.

In addition to the above, MWS adds our own File Services which offer:

  1. MWS home directory – user specific file share, typically referred to as the ‘H drive’
    • Useful for personal file storage, as the H Drive can only be accessed by its user
    • Automatically provisioned for each Managed Workstation user, unless otherwise requested
    • Not for confidential data or Microsoft Access databases
  2. MWS Shared File Services – Shared file space, typically referred to as the ‘I drive’
    • Useful for team file storage, as UW Groups can be used to control access to who views the files
    • Not for confidential data or Microsoft Access databases
  3. MWS Windows File Services – Shared file space, with support for rich Windows ACLs
    • Typically created as a top-level folder in the I: Drive, available by request.
    • Recommended for storing and using Microsoft Access Databases
    • File versioning enabled via Shadow Copy

Ordering MWS File Storage

  • MWS Home Directories – These are not explicitly ordered. Eligibility requires an MWS Customer Account and the use of Managed Workstation computers. To enable a home directory for a given user, the MWS customer account contacts must add the user to their appropriate eligibility group.
  • MWS Shared File Service – Existing MWS customers can request a new folder on the ‘I Drive’ by sending an email to
  • MWS Windows Files Service – Existing MWS customers can request a new Windows File Service folder on the ‘I Drive’ by filling out this form.

The MWS File Service charges based on individual usage. Rates are available in the Service Catalog.

Note: Discontinuing MWS services means customers who wish to retain content will have to migrate it. We can help with that at MWS Consulting rates.

How Usage is Determined

On a daily basis, a measurement on a directory basis is taken. This measurement is based on the underlying GPFS file system and is in 1K blocks. This means the file sizes you see in user interfaces are very unlikely to match 1:1 with the measurement that is reported.

At the end of the monthly billing period, Managed Workstation takes an average of the daily measurement. This average measurement for the directory is multiplied by the rate for that file service option, which corresponds to the billed amount.

Contacts for a Managed Workstation Service can visit the myIT portal to get the latest file space usage data associated with their department. The myIT File Services page is specifically of interest.

More Information

  • Compare UW File Services A handy chart that showcases the differences between all the online file storage options that UW offers.
  • Using MWS File Services Guidelines for using file services from MWS, including restrictions for MWS file services
  • Recovering Files Information about how MWS backs up its file storage offerings and how to restore files that have been recently deleted.
  • Mapping Drives How to manually access the H: and I: drives when you’re not on a Managed Workstation
  • MWS file services Starting page for MWS file services