Setting up your users to centrally locate their important files on a server rather than their workstations can have more benefits than just data safety.
Through the years, I have found that championing the concept of data centralization has vastly helped minimize downtime and frustration levels for both the administrator and the user.
Here are some of the benefits gained by setting up users to keep their work files (CAD files, Word documents, spreadsheets, etc.) in central designated user locations on specified servers:
- Users rarely (if ever) need to search their local hard drives again to find files.
- Permissions for user files can be specified on a granular level.
- Files are available around the clock.
- Access to files by users from remote locations is possible whether or not the users' desktop systems are active. (Indeed, this allows users to turn off their systems at night, thereby saving the company in electrical charges...a growing concern!).
- It allows the user to be more assured of data integrity.
- It also alows the user to be more assured of data recovery through data backups on the server.
For the administrator, it allows:
- greater ease of data backup;
- the ability (if management sanctioned) to discover and possibly eliminate space-wasting files;
- security control over critical data;
- data integrity via backup should an employee leave the company;
- the ability to quickly lock out access to data files should an employee leave (or be asked to leave) on less than amicable terms.
Overall, the benefits of protecting data that is most often the life-blood of any business, accompanied by the added ease and security for users, makes this an excellent policy for most companies to adopt. Plus, its relative ease of implementation and overall cost savings make this policy cost effective in many ways not even covered here.
This was first published in April 2001