DAC pulls in the crowds at the 2012 Storage & Data Management Technology Solution Days

on Thursday, 19 April 2012. Posted in Events

dataglobal enjoys excellent response to the subject of automatic file classification

Attendance was high as the 2012 Storage & Data Management Technology Solution Days opened its doors on Tuesday. As a technology leader for company-wide classification, dataglobal had been invited by the IT Business Academy to present an overview of the deployment options for automated classification systems.
The topic of Automated File Classification and Dynamic Access Control proved to be a real crowd-puller and a highly popular subject at the event.
The company-wide, automated classification of files is proving to be a catalyst for many solutions to pressing problems in information management. The presentation introduced 4 application areas, explaining the effects of classification and, in particular, the utility for the customers.

Dynamic Access Control and Security

To date, access control mechanisms have been based on storage structures such as folders, shares, etc., which prevents the mapping of a variety of possible views. This generates a conflict between a high level of administration effort on the one hand and the undeniable need for access control on the other. In addition, this approach is entirely dependent on users keeping to procedure: if users store information in the wrong place, this data will be visible to unauthorised persons. In the end, then, files today simply have insufficient protection.
With Dynamic Access Control (DAC), Windows Server "8" offers an alternative to the directory- and group-level file access controls typically found in today's systems. As a further development of "claims-based access controls", DAC offers the option of managing file access by classification in a way that is both more precise and more efficient.

Despite all this euphoria, however, one question often goes unanswered: who ensures the files are classified properly – and how? To ensure that all files in the company – including any existing files – are immediately available for DAC, the only solution is to ensure company-wide, role-based and automated file classification. dg classification permits the company-wide definition of classification rules, while also supporting attribute-based and content-based classification.

Compliance (e.g. archiving)

As a function, archiving is the cornerstone of fulfilment for numerous compliance regulations.
As things stand, many key items of information that should be archived from a compliance perspective remain unarchived since the system or process is unable to identify their archival requirement. One example here is given by the many contractually-relevant files present on the filesystem.
In particular, the large volume of files on file servers and filers represents a "black box" for many companies, creating gaps in their knowledge of the various files' relevance for specific compliance issues.
With the automated classification of all files in the company, relevant information is identified and archived on the basis of this classification right across the business. This interdepartmental, automated approach works to ensure a considerably higher degree of coverage for classification.
The cross-company solution is simple to manage, since it functions independently of the actual structures in place on the file servers and filers. At the same time, the classification rules can be audited company-wide.

Risk management (e.g. Data Leakage Prevention)

Data leakage prevention (DLP) is a term applied to solutions that are intended to avoid the uncontrolled flow of information out of the company. DLP is therefore part of the canon of IT risk management strategies.
Today's DLP solutions deliver only a fraction of their potential since defining rules that permit or prevent access is extraordinarily difficult when conducted exclusively on the basis of storage structures and other technical attributes.
Since contemporary solutions often lack suitable methods for involving the relevant units, a sense of responsibility is often lacking with department personnel. In many cases, therefore, DLP lacks any real punch in the fight against unauthorised flows of information.
Once automated classification is introduced for all files, however, DLP can leverage this classification rather than having to be painstakingly managed via the storage structure. This effect can be seen very clearly for dynamic structures that frequently change on the filesystem.
Since rule definitions are effective across the company by default, management effort is drastically reduced. The classification plus document type model also simplifies stronger involvement from expert staff.
In risk management, too, the use of classification can boost the efficacy of solutions already in place – in the area of DLP, for example – by several orders of magnitude.

Storage optimisation (e.g. intelligent Hierarchical Storage Management)

The term "hierarchical storage management" (also known as "tiered storage") refers to the optimisation of storage costs by using several storage systems that vary in terms of performance – and therefore cost. Files are relocated from high-cost to low-cost systems by applying a range of selection criteria, and all without either users or applications noticing the move.
Conventional solutions typically work exclusively with technical attributes, such as the file type or age, in order to make decisions about the suitability of relocating a file to a cheaper storage system. As a rule, they offer a matrix of selection criteria that is too coarse to be truly efficient in practical terms. Furthermore, not enough attention is paid to providing methods to acquire information about filestore relocation options based on functional data.
The functional classification of the file plus the assignment to a document type – such as "invoice", "employment contract" or "blueprint" – offers a much more fine-grained approach to formulating relocation rules. In addition, since these rules are completely independent of the actual structures on the file server or filer, they are therefore considerably easier to manage.
In the area of storage management, file classification enables considerably more efficient optimisation by enabling files to be managed based on their value for the company.

Event at a glance

The presentation to be given by dataglobal at the 2012 Storage & Data Management Technology Solution Days, entitled "The Next Big Thing: Automatic File Classification", illustrates how a company-wide file classification system can be introduced, and the application areas that can be covered by such a rollout.

For the accompanying trade exhibition, dataglobal is presenting its entire archiving portfolio, which covers email archiving, fileserver archiving, document management, SharePoint archiving and SAP archiving. Dataglobal will also be exhibiting solutions for the storage management sector, such as intelligent HSM, automated billing and company-wide storage control.
Organised by the IT Business Academy, the "STORAGE & DATA MANAGEMENT Technology Solution Days" event programme has in recent years established itself as one of the leading independent information and networking platforms for storage and data management. Following Tuesday's event in Munich and in Frankfurt/Hanau on Thursday, dates are also scheduled for Hamburg (25/04) and Düsseldorf/Neuss (02/05).

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