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NuView secures file access for administrators

Jo Maitland, Senior Executive Editor
Houston-based NuView Inc. is extending its muscle in the file management space with the introduction of a security product that controls user access to files.

Dubbed MyView, the software -- based on Microsoft's Active Directory and NuView's global namespace technology -- performs security by obscurity. It shows administrators which users have access to which resources, and can limit users to a view of only the resources they are supposed to have access to.

"At a time when corporate security breaches are making the headlines everyday, MyView gives administrators a way to address the access rights challenge," said Rahul Mehta, CEO of NuView. "Think of the employee that gets access to payroll data that they shouldn't have … It's common wisdom that 80% of security compromises happen internally."

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Michael Thomason, lead IT architect at a large healthcare company in Atlanta has HIPAA regulators breathing down his neck, which is one reason why he implemented MyView. A security auditor can now run a simple query to view which users in the organization have access to the HR payroll folder, for example, making it much quicker to assess security breaches.

However, Thomason's bigger problem was managing the company's 15,000 users. The healthcare company, which requested not to be named, has a 4 terabyte (TB) SAN, but users currently access their data through Novell volumes and Windows CIFS shares. Right now, the company has 500 shared group folders that are spread across two Windows servers and roughly 20 Novell servers. The plan is to migrate everything on the Novell servers to Windows 2003 without giving users access to everything on the network.

Thomason has already implemented NuView's StorageX global namespace software to manage files stored across the company's various different file systems as one big pool. "MyView lets us take the namespace idea a step further by letting us customize it by department," Thomason said. He has 2,000 users on MyView today and is adding more daily.

His one hitch when rolling out the software was underestimating the type of server required to perform the job. "We bought a dual-core machine … To publish the namespace takes about 45 minutes," he said.

MyView can build namespaces irrespective of StorageX, according to Mehta, and it supports up to 30,000 users today. Future releases will support LDAP, the Unix equivalent to Microsoft's Active Directory. MyView costs $25 per user and will be available in the next 30 days.

Brad O'Neill, senior analyst with The Taneja Group, said the product "finally divorces all the physical associations of the file server with the business processes you are trying to solve … It was probably the vision behind Microsoft's Distributed File System (DFS), but Windows falls way short of it." He expects MyView to be used in conjunction with existing NuView products.

NuView claims it has more than 300 customers to date, in large part due to its OEM deal with Network Appliance Inc. NetApp resells StorageX under the Virtual File Manager (VFM) brand. The NAS giant recently acquired Decru Inc., an encryption appliance startup, for $272 million. "Making data safer by encrypting it, plus understanding who has control over what, both go hand-in-hand," Mehta said.

Related Topics: NAS management, VIEW ALL TOPICS

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