Many companies today are feeling the pain of storage devices quickly reaching capacity, only to find that individual point solutions such as storage reporting and quotas only offer a partial solution. But, numerous major Fortune 100 companies such as EDS, Sprint, and Williams Communications have adapted a much more comprehensive, 360-degree approach to storage resource management. Those solutions apply what's known as the AASET(TM) approach:
A - Audit. Perform a storage audit to identify outdated, duplicated, obsolete or non-business related files such as MP3s.
A - Allocate. Give your users a reasonable amount of storage within which to perform their job function rather than blindly doling out disk space infinitely.
S - Screen. Hundreds of file types inherently have no business purpose being written to your servers by your users, including MP3, GIF, games, executables, virus-riddled vbs files, etc. Screen them in real-time and decide which file types are allowable and which aren't.
E - Educate. Users typically have no idea how much space they're using, how much they have available and at what rate they're consuming disk space. Space is a corporate resource like anything else and should be monitored, managed and controlled. Send regular storage reports to your users informing them about how quickly they're consuming space, and what they can do to help correct the problem, such as moving or deleting files not accessed in over a year.
And finally, T - Trend. Any organization is going to experience some storage growth, even with the best storage policies in place. To make intelligent capacity planning decisions, trend your storage usage over a period of time and bring these reports to management to justify resources for storage expansion. Applying the AASET framework puts you in control of your storage resources and enables you to manage your storage assets.
About the author: This tip was submitted and prepared by Steven Toole, vice president of Marketing and others at WQuinn, a provider of storage management tools for Windows NT/2000. For more information about WQuinn, see the company's Web site at http://www.wquinn.com/.