New Process for Provisioning AFS User Volumes

students outside

In an effort to reduce dependencies on Stanford’s Andrew File System (AFS), University IT (UIT) will change the way AFS user volumes are provisioned to new faculty and staff.

Effective Monday, Nov. 23, 2020, new faculty and staff members will no longer be auto-provisioned with AFS user volumes, but can submit a Help request if personal AFS user volume is needed. New students and post-docs will continue to be auto-provisioned.

This change will not impact existing AFS directories or the process for adding permissions for new individuals to those existing directories. Your existing space and everything in it will remain intact. 

Addressing concerns about AFS

AFS is minimally supported and hosts a number of web spaces created by individuals and other organizations in unsupported, outdated and vulnerable versions of web tools. In addition to inherent security issues, the decades-old system is costly to maintain and support, lacks modern usability features, and is impacted by delayed open source fix releases.  

In 2017, the university president, provost, and board of trustees gave the directive to the Stanford CIO to address the growing concerns around the security, privacy, and stability of AFS. To date, UIT has focused on advancing the Web Content Management Program — a multi-year initiative to provide modern, secure, and managed cloud-based web alternatives, and reduce the overall footprint of AFS. Turning off the auto-provisioning of AFS user volume is one of many efforts in the program.

Alternative user volumes

Several alternative web hosting platforms for websites and file storage can be used in place of AFS. These include (but aren’t limited to): 

This information and more is available, and continually updated, in this FAQ

How you can help

We ask that you partner with us to help identify and communicate with additional audiences that may need support through this change. 

Please reach out to UIT Release Manager Larry Dillard at ldillard@stanford.edu with your feedback and questions.