Saving critical data
"> 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.Next page: Reducing and centralizing support.
- 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.