August 3, 2016: Webspace retired effective August 3, 2016
The Webspace service at Berkeley Lab has been officially retired. Webspace Personal content for current Berkeley Lab staff can be found in the webspacemigration folder in Google Drive; Webspace Shared folders have also been migrated and shared with the original collaborators of that content. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
August 1, 2016: Webspace will be retired on August 3, 2016
Webspace will be retired on Wednesday, August 3, 2016. Over the past months, the Collaboration Services group has been migrating content from Webspace Shared and Personal folders to Google Drive. This process was completed on July 29, 2016.
March 15, 2016: Webspace will be retired Q3 2016
Webspace will be retired this year. IT Collaboration Services will be reaching out to current Webspace users in the coming weeks and assisting users with migrating their current Webspace content to Google Drive.
General Questions below
What is Webspace?
Webspace is a file storage service. Webspace presents itself through either a web browser interface or a mapped drive interface.
Because the web interface is accessible via most browsers and from multiple platforms, Webspace provides easy file access at the Lab, at home, or on travel. Webspace also provides version control, as well as an easy way to share documents with collaborators.
Windows users can create mapped drives to Webspace files. For frequently edited files used day to day, the mapped drive interface works better than the browser interface. Windows users use Xythos Drive to set up the drive mappings. Mac users can create a similar interface by mounting a Webspace volume on their desktop.
Our testing has found only a few applications that do not work well with Webspace. Webspace should not be used for shared FileMakerPro or Access databases. It does not work smoothly with Excel spreadsheets that link to another, external spreadsheet. And it's not good for mail local folders, or for WS_FTP. Other than those instances, though, it works with most applications at the Lab.
Initially, Webspace found use as the replacement for Novell shared directories. Webspace shared directories help Berkeley Lab scientists and staff collaborate with colleagues, both inside and outside the Lab. We have found, though, that for very large directories with complicated structures, that Webspace can be slow. For those, it may be better to use Windows File Storage. Novell home directories have been moved to Windows File Storage, since these directories usually do not involve collaboration or versioning. Some people have chosen to maintain a Webspace personal directory in addition to a WFS directory, in order to share files with small teams over a short term.
Which file service should I use?
How do I get a Webspace account?
Type in your browser
(or click webspace ) and login with your LDAP name and password. The first time you login, the login entry will create your Webspace account. It is that easy.
How do I delete a Webspace account?
Your account can be deleted by calling the IT Help Desk at x4357 or sending us a web ticket (help.lbl.gov) to ask that the account be removed. You may want to consider just deleting data that you might have in your account - no charge will be made for any account with 1MB or less.
Please remember that other users of Webspace will occasionally send out email containing links to data they want you to access. When you follow the link and login, your account will automatically be re-provisioned. This is not a problem - you won't be charged for accessing someone else's shared data.
How much does the Webspace service cost?
As of October 2010, there is no charge for Webspace.
Is there any training available for Webspace?
In the past, we have periodically offered 2 hour hands-on training sessions in 90-26, the computer training room, but the schedule for these has relaxed as fewer people have started with Webspace. You can see if a class is currently available by checking Employee Self Service off the A-Z Lab index. Choose Training Enrollment and then Employee Skill Development.
Xythos has a few videos that may be of use here .
The text based help associated with Webspace is also good. After you authenticate, look for a Help link in the upper right corner of the screen.
You can also access some materials, albeit outdated, through the University of Wisconsin's on line tutorial
What files should NOT be moved to Webspace? Any other limitations?
- Large, Frequently Accessed Files Accessing files on Webspace is not as fast as on a file system built specifically for this purpose (like Novell or Windows). If you have a large amount of data to store or large files that you need to access frequently, Webspace may not be the best solution. Two users, one using Xythos Drive on a PC and the other using a Mac without Xythos Drive, moved their shared files from Webspace to E-Room in late October, 2008 because they needed to heavily share many large files, especially big Excel spreadsheets. Files would open, but the open was way too slow to be usable for them.
- Files in Deep Directory Trees Directory trees that contain many subfolders of subfolders with multitudinous files are not suitable for Webspace.
- Excel Spreadsheets that link to other Excel Spreadsheets Excel files which link to another Excel file (not to another worksheet within the spreadsheet) are not reliable in Webspace. Use E-room or Windows File Services. Also, one user found a SQL Navigator query that saved to Excel hung on a file of 2700 records. A file of 100 records worked well.
- Local email files should not be stored on Webspace. Because storage charges for mail have dropped, most users store their mail on the mail server. If you need additional local mail folders (in order to save the cost of leaving the mail on the server), put the folders on your Windows H: drive, where it will be backed up nightly.
- Shared Databases ,such as shared FileMakerPro and Microsoft Access, work extremely slowly on Webspace, because Xythos downloads the entire big file, even for just one small query. Internal Audit uses Teammate and ACL, which encounter the same problem. Solution here is shared use of Windows File Services , not Webspace.
- FTP may not see a Webspace directory as a target directory for dropping in files. One user reported WS_FTP would see Novell directories, but not Webspace ones.
Can Webspace be used to avoid sending large attachments through email?
Yes .. Store the file in a folder in a Webspace directory - either your Webspace H: "home directory," if you use that, or in a shared directory. Send a "ticket" (an email with a link to the file) to the person you are corresponding with. Your recipient will then use the ticket to access the file, circumventing the email systems.
What browsers work with Webspace?
Firefox, IE (Internet Explorer) and Safari all work.
I typed "webspace" in the address bar of my browser and I got an error.
Type the full name: https://webspace.lbl.gov . Just "webspace" will not resolve to the right name.
Annoying, continual warning about a certificate
Certificate is set up for webspace.lbl.gov - Users can access Webspace by simply typing webspace in address bar, but then the certificate is not seen as valid. Better to use the full webspace.lbl.gov
Can I store my "local" mail on Webspace, similar to how I stored it on my Novell H: drive?
No. If you need storage beyond server-side storage, use Windows File Services
In order to understand why Webspace can't do the storage, it is important to understand how XYTHOS technology works. Files that are on Webspace and accessed using the WebDav or Xythos Drive client are actually copied from Webspace to local cache on your PC. In the normal environment, working on a Word document for example, the file is moved back to Webspace by the system after you save your changes. In the case of mail folders, it appears that every time a new message is filed in a "local" folder, the entire folder is written back to the Webspace store. Since a mail folder could have GB of data, it is inefficient if the entire folder is sent back to the Mother Ship every time a small addition is made.
Local mail was stored on the Novell file system primarily to insure that the mail was backed up each night. You can do the same with an H: drive used under Windows File Services. Use that instead of Webspace. Also, since up to 3GB of mail storage is now free, many staff members to keep all their mail on the server, which is also backed up every night.
How big a file can be stored on Webspace?
Files that approach 4GB have been stored on Webspace. However, different user interfaces have their own limitations on how big a file can be transferred to Webspace.
Using the web browser interface into Webspace, the limit is around 2GB. A 1.9GB file successfully uploaded using a browser. A 2.1GB file failed to upload. The warning message indicated Firefox was using the file despite the unsuccessful upload. (So be careful!)
Neither the WebDav interface into Webspace nor Xythos Drive interface carries the 2GB limitation. With these interfaces, files as large as 4GB have been successfully moved to Webspace.
Does Webspace have a way to create shared folders that are not in my personal account?
Yes. We have created space for group folders at the root of our Webspace file system.
In an analysis of the use of Novell groups, we determined that 72% of the approximately 800 groups have 5 or fewer members. Many of these situations can be handled using personal accounts, sharing a folder or file with the few others that need access. Group Folders in Webspace are intended for larger groups, longer term projects, and where dependency on any given individual has to be avoided.
Over time, we will create first level folders in the group folder that mirror what many customers use with Novell (e.g. a shared area for all procurement staff). Each of these folders will be assigned an owner who can control, in our decentralized model, who can access the folder and how it is organized. The data in these group folders will not be dependent on the continuing employment of any single individual.
Here is how the process will work:
- Help Desk ticket is entered requesting a top level group folder.
- Help Desk staff will contact the user, agree on a name and the customer who will act as administrator of the shared folder.
- IT staff (tbd) will create the shared folder giving it a prefix of the first level org code (e.g. IT-Budget, or CF-Procurement)
- IT staff will also insure that only the administrator has rights to the folder
- Customer Folder administrator will add other users as appropriate to the folder
- Customer Folder administrator will create subfolders as needed, add and remove users, and be responsible for disk space utilization
To see the top level for the shared group folders created thus far, use your built-in bookmark for "Root" and click on the Shared folder. Note that you will be able to see only the folders that you have been give rights to see.
Can I use Native Windows tools to create a "drive mapping" with Webspace so that I can drag and drop and open and save easily?
If you don't use Xythos Drive, but would still like to be able to create new documents, edit them and save them on a Windows XP system, there is a way to do it. This method avoids the annoyance of the download and upload in the Webspace browser. You can drag and drop, cut and paste files. This method is also called WebDAV.
In XP, you can use My Network Places. Right-click My Network Places, select Explore, and click on Add Network Place. Select choose another location, not MSN communities. Click Next. Enter http://webspace.lbl.gov in the address box. Click Next. In the create a name page, type a friendly name like "Webspace." Click Next and click Finish. Now, in My Network Places, you can open the Webspace web folder, and navigate to directories where you have permissions to write. You can edit and save files there. You can create a document, for instance, in Word, and then save to Desktop->My Network Places->Webspace. You can drag and drop between this directory and other mapped drives.
An even easier way exists if you use Internet Explorer. Open Webspace in IE and navigate to the directory you want to be a Network Place. In the wide blue bar at the top, on its right, you will find, between New Folder and View, a Launch Web Folder icon.Click on this icon, accept security certificate notice if any, and a Network Place will be created for you.
For more information, see web_folders.pdf: Windows XP native WebDav access.
What is the Service Level Agreement for Webspace?
Find it here: Webspace Service Level Agreement.
What anomalies might I encounter?
One user's experience reported Sep2015:
1. Trash says it will delete files older than 180 days, but my trash
has files from 2008.
2. I did a select all via checkbox and then downloaded the archive.
Webspace says I have 14GB of storage, the archive it downloaded was
1GB and corrupted.
Possible reasons for anomalies: