File Server Management – Visibility Is The Key

Understand Your Data and You’re Half Way There!

Gary White – Waterford Technologies

Most of the calls I deal with at the moment are from IT Managers are in relation to IT budgets and the issues they are having with File Server Management. We all know that the amount of data being generated is increasing at a rate never before seen and IT departments are struggling to justify additional storage and servers to meet growing user demand.

 

With the cost of the hardware and the associated resources that must be committed such as:

  • People
  • Backup processes
  • Media
  • Space

File server management can become very expensive.

File Server Management Costs are Sky-rocketing

Even though storage is getting cheaper, the cost to manage storage is sky-rocketing and by simply buying more disk IT departments are literally kicking the problem further down the road.

IT departments also have to deal with the fact that everyone who owns a smart phone now rates themselves as an IT expert !!! This leads to finance or other departments repeating the new mantra “Just push it to the Cloud” as they’ve heard this is Cheap, Easy, Secure AND Most importantly then it’s not their problem.

But the calls I’m getting now are from IT Managers who understand that this is not even remotely as simple as it sounds,

  1. Firstly this is again returning to ignoring the problem in the hope it goes away.
  2. Secondly, what do you push to the Cloud? all? Some? Non-Important? Essential?
  3. Thirdly, Security, who has access to your files?, where are your files going to be kept?

 

We’ve all read the blogs / tweets / news about the NSA (National Security Agency) and what they see, but what about the Patriot Act and FISA (Foreign Intelligence Services Act) which not only allows for access to allow data stored in the US but also to all data stored by US companies in your country !!!! http://www.zdnet.com/blog/igeneration/case-study-how-the-usa-patriot-act-can-be-used-to-access-eu-data/8805

This leads to a much bigger debate and question over the Cloud and how your company should interact with it. I’m certainly notfile server management against Cloud or Cloud providers and think it is a hugely viable resource, but I do think we need to understand certain elements of it a lot more first and ask the question “What information do I want in the Cloud ?”

 

What Exactly is on Your File Servers?

The first question I always ask an IT department is “What exactly is on your file servers” the answer to this is usually a resounding Ehhhh ???? They know it’s there, they know how much is there, but they just don’t know WHATS there. Is this file mission critical to your company, is it the receptionists Xmas shopping list from 2001? I always say to them address this problem then you can take care of the rest, break down that information so you know what’s there by Server, File Type, Owner, Largest, Oldest, Newest etc…  Ohh and my personal favourite Most Duplicated !!! I love this one, as no matter who I’m talking too, when I tell them that on average they will see at least 20% of their entire data is taken up by Duplication they invariably say no way, I should actually start taking bets on that one.

Once you understand the data then you can manage the data. Then you can De-Duplicate, Delete, Report, Archive, Fast Restore and Protect.

It sounds simple when you say it like that and there’s a good reason for that, it is simple !!!! Then you have taken control over the problem not just for now but also for the future.

 

Get more information on file server management here