Saving critical data

By Michael Krieger  |  Posted 2004-06-08 Print this article Print

"> In an effort to reverse the negative numbers and avoid the stiff penalties of regulatory non-compliance, IT departments have encouraged users to save critical data to available network servers under the control of enterprise software. Unfortunately, such policies are difficult to enforce and thus may be widely ignored by legions of users who prefer to keep their data stored locally, where they believe they can better control it. These end users may feel as though it is their data, when in fact it belongs to their employers.

As might be expected, this myopic approach is frequently disastrous because PCs have a well-documented history of problems that can lead to unrecoverable data, including disk crashes and virus infections. Its highly unlikely, however, that federal regulators will accept "the PC ate my homework" as a valid excuse for failing to comply with the law. Thats why corporations must find a viable and cost-effective way to protect their data-from the data center all the way down to the desktop.

A Troika of Technology Solutions
A rapidly increasing number of businesses are realizing that server-based computing solutions utilizing thin client devices-combined with centralized data center designs that leverage storage area network (SAN) and network attached storage (NAS) infrastructures-can solve the data control dilemma.

  • Thin clients replace expensive, inherently insecure PCs with diskless terminals that contain no local storage.
  • SANs are high-speed sub-networks that are populated by shared dedicated storage devices, all of which are available to all servers on a LAN or MAN. Because stored data does not reside directly on network servers, those servers are freed to perform other business processing tasks.
  • NAS devices are solely dedicated to file sharing. In NAS environments, hard disk storage space may be added to a server-based network without shutting the servers down, and large NAS appliances may hold up to a terabyte of data.
Next page: Reducing and centralizing support.

Michael has been involved in various disciplines in the information technology field for more than 25 years. His background and experience in product development, marketing and sales give him a unique perspective on how and why companies succeed in the technology marketplace. Before joining Ziff Davis Market Experts, he was a senior VP for marketing at FutureLink, a large ASP based in Southern California. He previously was VP of marketing for Hitachi Data SystemsÔÇÖ server product line, and also was a senior product manager for AST Research's server and data communications product lines.

His entrepreneurial experience includes founding Solution Business Systems, a developer of manufacturing software for IBM midrange systems. He was also VP of product development at Techland Systems, one of the industry's first creators of micro-to-mainframe emulators.

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