Tip

Guidelines for carrying out a network storage policy

The following steps will help you properly establish and implement a network storage policy.

Get corporate IT to define the reason for the policy and to provide leadership.

  • Get the buy-in from senior IT executives and or corporate management, human resources, and legal. Ask a senior IT staff member to spearhead the policy rollout.
  • SRM tools help to provide specifics for network storage policies and provide procedures for enforcing policies.
  • Invest in storage resource management tools and ascertain current storage patterns through a thorough audit of existing storage resources.
  • Work with local systems administrators to determine initial space allocations, thresholds, and alerts for specific storage resources.
  • Create automated procedures carried out by the storage resource management tools.
  • IT department must prepare the server environment before going ahead with a network storage policy.
  • Undertake efforts to groom wasted space from current storage devices by deleting unnecessary files and asking employees to free up space in their home directory.
  • Work with employees to assess their storage needs.
  • Set space allotments and do soft monitoring so employees can get used to responding to alerts.
  • Don't finalize policy until procedures have been thoroughly test-driven and everyone is comfortable.

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  • Network storage policies must fit the organization.
  • Make certain types of servers available for applications, such as archiving.
  • Monitor space usage, but leave punishing flagrant space abusers to human resources and legal departments.
  • Always work as closely with employees to assess their storage needs.
  • Set up procedures logically so different groups can carry out their tasks independently of each other.
  • Network storage policies need to be let gently out of the bag.
  • Have the IT department or IT storage committee issue communications to department heads and their employees about the storage policy and the way it will be carried out, especially the housekeeping tasks employees are asked to do.
  • Network storage policies should travel beyond the limits of space.
  • Establish backup procedures for mobile employees or enlist an e-storage service for mobile backups.
  • Decide what to do with files when employees leave the organization or transfer to a different department.
  • Gather historical data about storage patterns for capacity planning and budgeting. Look at the feasibility of doing storage chargebacks to departments.

  • About the author: Steven Toole is the vice president of marketing for Precise-W Quinn and a frequent contributor to searchStorage.


This was first published in February 2002

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