National Park Service Recycles Storage Capacity with NTP Software

The National Park Service is relying upon NTP Software's QFS suite of products to streamline its storage administration.

In order to protect itself from potential server system overloads and reign in storage usage across its 900 employee-base and related workgroups, the National Park Service within the OCIO (office of Chief Information Officer) is relying upon NTP Softwares QFS suite of products to streamline its storage administration.

The Denver, Colo.-based National Park Services OCIO is responsible for supporting a variety of applications including Web sites, e-commerce, pest control, air, water, as well as other preservation-type applications.

In order to serve its user base without the risk of straining its allotted storage capacity, the United States Federal Agency has set quotas for how much storage can be assigned to an individuals home directory, group or specific project running at any one time.

Compounded with traditional file and document backup processes, using NTP Software technology and policies to track of individual "packrats" who store information excessively is a major component toward balancing storage prices and keeping operational efficiency in check, notes Bud McDonald, chief of Denver Operations for the National Park Service OCIO.

"There is not a whole lot of money [applied to] the Department of Interior for infrastructure," McDonald said.

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"[NTP Software] saves a lot of time and effort in trying to find more storage. Working weekends and nights to try to get people more storage and all they do is fill it up again isnt fun … youre going to have packrats in every organization, and this puts a lid on that."

As a user within the eight groups supported by McDonalds business unit approaches their storage limit, they will receive a root alert message.

If they exceed their limit, they are locked out and must "ask" for an increased capacity. McDonald said the hard-line stance, coupled with NTP Softwares QFS tools, has provided a level of storage control to the finite detail wherever required.

"We can specify the exact resource we wish to quota. With other [storage capacity] products, it gets kind of wishy-washy. I dont need to know what is stored is on specific servers; if a person is assigned a specific resource, thats where I want the quota to be," he said.

The National Park Service OCIO runs a full Microsoft environment featuring Microsoft Windows Servers, Exchange Servers and 64-bit technology.

McDonald said he plans to examine Linux this year as a potential OS alternative, but says his heavy Microsoft infrastructure would be tough to abandon due to its existing investment.

For personal storage needs, users receive 500MB of storage.

Depending on an organization or specific task, a public storage repository is set up with a separate group to handle with permissions.

If an organization needs more storage, McDonald says they can "negotiate" with his department to purchase the desired amount.

Extra capacity is added through a Xiotech SAN (storage area network), which can easily add more LUNs.

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