You make the users accountable for the space they are using. This can be done a number of ways.
The most painful (from a user perspective, especially) is to institute quotas on the amount of space their files can take up. This is an increasingly common practice for controlling e-mail. The problem is that most users don't like it, and it doesn't solve the core problem of making sure there isn't [unnecessary] duplication of data (as users then shift the problem from one disk to another in order to keep within the quota).A second way is to exact budgetary costs or even a service fee from departments for usage of disk array space, really a first-generation storage utility approach. To do this, you'll need to select a storage resource management tool and come to agreement with business managers about [whether] they are willing to provide financial support in exchange for capacity. And that is easier said then done, in a lot of cases. How do you strike a balance between corporate data versus personal data, taking into consideration security, performance and accessibility?
You can't, because corporate data rules. Personal data needs to be kept off the high-priced storage arrays in your data center. Now, I know that's a little draconian. Establish criteria for grading application data and then prioritize
There are some simple things you can do to evaluate and prioritize the data you are managing: Make sure you have a tool in place that assists you with capacity planning, especially storage resource management (SRM). SRM will give you a snapshot of what you have, who owns the data and relative trend analysis (depending on the vendor) around how fast this data is rowing.
Second, determine the data quality of service; that is what's mission-critical, operational, and data that can be archived (or deleted).
Third, set polices for each data class that might even include quotas, targeting the data that has 'non-value' with stringent user/department quotas. Quotas are at many times controversial, so you need executive backing and buy-in to establish and enforce these policies.
What are some of the tools used to manage user quotas and management?
Storage resource management (SRM) tools have some of the best features when it comes to managing user quotas. Note that user quotas are generally universally disliked by end users, so be prepared for some unpleasant feedback from users. A number of data management tools also allow for user quota policies, and some e-mail packages limit user database sizes. So, it really depends on what applications you are trying to set a quota against.
A more in-depth discussion on storage management at the Storage Management conference April 9-11 in Chicago, where Jamie will be a featured speaker. He will be discussing management strategies, such as how to set e-mail quotas and calculating the break-even point for setting quotas.
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