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Vol. 5 No. 12 February 2007

Data classification gets a human touch

Data classification is "like eating an elephant," according to Michael Masterson, IT manager at a Fortune 500 life sciences company that's in the middle of a data classification project. "Don't get discouraged," he says. "You can't do it all at once." Masterson's office has 60 Windows servers and a handful of Unix machines, plus the latest EMC Clariion CX3 array for primary storage and a Nexsan Technologies system for nearline, noncritical data. He's using EMC Documentum for document management, and has 9TB of unstructured data floating around unmanaged. About a year ago, Masterson's company decided it needed to better understand the files it was storing before throwing any more disk into its data center. Unfortunately, says Masterson, this information isn't available in the meta data provided by Windows systems. "People have dumped stuff on me like I'm a landfill, but I'm not in the storage business," he notes. He is, however, responsible for ensuring that the company's scientists can find files months or even years after ...

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Features in this issue

  • Integrating iSCSI and FC storage

    Mixing iSCSI with Fibre Channel (FC) allows you to make more efficient use of installed storage capacity, but marrying the two protocols isn't without its challenges. Bringing iSCSI into existing FC SANs raises integration issues and leads to a somewhat more complex storage infrastructure that requires IP and FC knowledge, as well as the ability to manage and troubleshoot a multiprotocol storage environment.

  • Removable disk vies with tape

  • Clustering ERP apps

    For mission-critical apps, availability is the key. Clustering those applications can ensure they stay up and running, but clustering often conjures up images of complex technologies and an environment that's fragile and complex. Still, for most companies, the benefits of clustering are profound enough to mitigate its risks.

  • Protect laptop data

    When your company's data is mobile, it's far more vulnerable, so protecting laptop data is critical. Protecting data on laptops is a two-pronged process: ensuring the data is always available using backup, and securing data from prying eyes through encryption.

Columns in this issue

  • Classified data: For your eyes only

    Classified data: For your eyes only

  • Are you taking the iSCSI plunge?

    iSCSI has grown from a theoretical standard into a real technology with real storage products. Although once considered by many to be a Fibre Channel killer, iSCSI has gained a substantial foothold without necessarily displacing Fibre Channel. Companies of all sizes are taking the plunge, and the iSCSI juggernaut appears to be unstoppable.

  • Latest technological innovations coming from Europe

    Storage Bin: If you want to know where the latest technological innovations are coming from, go to Europe.

  • From worm to worst

    by  Stephen Foskett

    Everyone thinks about online data in the same way: You write it, read it, rewrite it and keep it forever. But many organizations have far more data that's written once, read a few times and kept alive forever. You might say this bulk data is "write once, read several times" (WORST), and it can bloat your storage environment.