Storage Solution for JIC (Just-in-case) Clients

Backup and Recovery
Disk drives
Storage management
We have set up a quota on network storage to our clients for their email and personal data but we have users that keeps everything and refuses to purge any files (some are 10-20 years old). As an alternative solution, we provide a portable cd or dvd burner on a temporary basis to help reduce their network storage. (Our policy do not allow CD-RW or DVD-RW on individual PCs). The demand for the burner has significantly increased in the past 6 months and now I am wondering if we should review our policy and include the burner as the standard PC upgrade. The other option we are considering is to purchase a network version of the burning software to reduce the worload of our techs. One product we looked at will work well in a network environment but not user-friendly. The other product is very easy but it requires local install. Do you have any recommendation on what software to use? Comments/suggestions, please.

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How about a Hierarchical Storage Management solution (HSM). Basically, it offloads data to second or third tier storage according to rules setup by yourself.

Second tier could be disk (NAS) or some optical solution, third tier is usually tape although there is no reason not to use tape as a second tier if you are a small operation.

The HSM’ed data is still available for use, just not quite as fast as server storage in the case of tape or optical.


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  • Dcsys99
    If you're worried about security (thus the "no CD-RW" rule), then how do you know a user isn't taking data on a USB drive or a floppy? If the data is "Company" stuff - HSM is a good way to go. If it is "personal" stuff (Even though EVERYTHING is company stuff), then use local CD-RWs or USB storage devices. Its tough to find a PC without a burner and software these days anyway.
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  • Poppaman
    Having been faced with a similar situation before, we decided to "bite the bullet" and start ordering refresher (replacement) PC's with CD-RW drives. We found that those parties whom we suspected were removing corporate IP (Intellectual Property) prior to the inclusion or the CD-RW drives in the standard PC configuration were the same people who persisted in this behavior after their inclusion... We simply were able to track them more efficiently...
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  • Africanjoe
    Hello together, the first question is: How often needs a user data from the "old stuff". Is there less than five requests per month, than backup the old data to tape. The time and money for restore is less than to invest in an archiving system using CD/DVD/WORM or UDO devices. If you think that some of the old data will be restored more than five times a month, look a little bit deeper into the data. How old is the data. I think not more than 3 to six month. In this case a clone of the data to a so called near-Online storage system (using S-ATA or FATA drives) will be the best alternative to tape. Many backup software products are supoorting the function backup-to-disk. Maybe you are already using a SAN storage system which has teh function cloning. Then you can, if the storage system supports it, use FC drives and S-ATA drives or FATA drives to clone the data from the expensive FC drives to the chaeper S-ATA or FATA drives. After a periode of maybe thee month you backup the complete data to tape. Than you have full coverage of your data and you can restore data quicker. Best regards Johannes Schroder
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  • Epeterson
    I think you have a business policy issue regarding data retention of the e-mails the storing of personal information on company assets. You should try to address them as part of your solution. I am against assigning users the responsibility for managing their backup media. It's not auditable, the opportunity for error is high, and enforcement of any kind of security policy for that media is not possible. I'm going through something similar and I've determined that one option is to just buy more lower cost storage like SATA. Growth would go on and I would just keep buying more. I would produce regular reports pointing out the consumption to prevent someone from being shocked that this has been going on. The next option would be an HSM type product which would auotmatically move files to another tier of lower cost storage (disk or optical) based on a defined policy, like hasn't been touched in 2 years or utilization on disk reached 95%. I guess I could also insist that existing policies be followed. Of the options you listed I would ask the vendor if they could make the one that is not user-friendly more so. And if they know of any consultants that have worked on installs and developed some tools to make it more user-friendly. I'm assuming that the the local install option is not desirable. I would also create a pro's & con's document for each option. Include expenses like FTE's, hardware, software, & maintenance. Start with enforcing the existing policy. If you have to choose an option that is impactful to the workload of your techs, it should be documented and communicated.
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