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TechTip: End-User Initiated Archiving in Enterprise Vault

Created: 17 Mar 2009 • Updated: 26 Mar 2009
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Swathi Turlapaty's picture
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In most enterprises, administrators have a real need to link file system quota management software with their archiving software. But while archiving has helped administrators impose quotas by setting rules, these rules often do not take into account the unique and individual working practices of end users. For example, files may be archived that users wanted to keep online for upcoming projects. In many cases, a sudden influx of files for a new project will cause users to immediately go over their allotted space. Many of these situations can generate panicked emergency calls to the administrator to resolve the issue. Also, regardless of how thoughtful and precise the rules settings are for Enterprise Vault archiving, unique situations can arise that need special treatment.

The ability to provide automated or end-user driven archiving based on a user’s quota threshold is the ideal scenario for most enterprises. This TechTip details the use of NTP Software ODA with Symantec Enterprise Vault for quota and end-user driven file archiving. NTP Software ODA is a third-party add-on solution tested and approved by Symantec for use with Enterprise Vault. [Customers should contact their Symantec representative for information regarding purchase, installation, and configuration of ODA with their current EV installation.]

Automating quota compliance

Once NTP Software ODA is installed and configured for EV, administrators have two modes of operation for automating file archiving operations—automatic and end-user initiated.

In automatic mode, ODA will archive files from user directories when quotas are reached and leave behind file placeholders (stubs) in their place. Administrators can set priorities for automatic archiving of individual user’s files by size, age, and file type. Groups of users can be configured at one time as well. If users access the placeholders that represent any archived files, the original will be automatically restored from the EV archive. Placeholders are typically 4 KB in size, yet provide users with nearly limitless virtual file storage capacity.

In a user-driven quota-based archiving mode, the NTP QFS component of its ODA software will send an alert to users when they are reaching their quota threshold. The alert contains a link to a Web-based interface called Storage Investigator where users can browse and sort their files by age, size, and type. Users can select which files they want to send to the archive and click the archive button. ODA initiates the EV archiving of their files and, once again, leaves placeholders behind for the user to retrieve these files later. Storage Investigator can also identify duplicate files.

Three potential levels of quota management Using the combination of NTP ODA with EV allows administrators to implement a three-pronged solution to quota management:

  1. Using a purely quota-driven system, NTP ODA and EV will automatically archive files triggered by user actions, such as exceeding quota limits.
  2. In an end-user driven scenario, users can, at any time, use Storage Investigator to archive.
  3. In a combination of quota and end-user initiation modes, an end-user is sent an alert and directed to the Storage Investigator to begin archive selection.

The use of NTP Software ODA with Enterprise Vault is a highly granular solution for automating quota management and enabling end-users to proactively archive data based on business value. It is compatible with Windows Server, EMC Celerra NAS and NetApp filer NAS solutions.

Related Link

Click here for more information about NTP Software ODA and Symantec Enterprise Vault.