There are a lot of different file types out there. And odds are that if your organization uses a corporate network—or any kind of shared network—you’re storing a lot of them. But do you really know what is on your servers? Are some users storing personal documents? Or videos? Music? If you take a good long look at what’s there, you might actually be surprised.
At first, you might be tempted to say this isn’t an issue. Just remember: those files come from machines you don’t have control of. If a user installs programs from the Internet or from a home computer, who knows what kind of bugs might be buried in the software? A file management system is not antivirus software, but it can help you gain a little more control over what’s stored on your network.
The first problem you need to deal with involves actually finding out what users are storing on the network. You could go through all the folders and files on the server yourself, but there are millions of files. And once you finished, you’d have to go back and look for new or modified ones all over again. If you’ve come this far, you may have already found a few file management applications, but a lot of them just help you move files around, and aren’t built to do everything you need.
When you are able to view the different types of files on your network, odds are that you’re going to see a lot of things you didn’t expect. John in the Accounting department is keeping all his family videos on the server. Anna in Legal has all her music and photos. A fairly large percentage of your network is taken up with files that don’t have anything to do with work. Do you really want people keeping files on your servers that are unrelated to their jobs? Not only are users more likely to get distracted with the files, but it also piles up and weighs down your network—to say nothing of possibly introducing viruses or other issues.
The reason file management programs exist in the first place is to fill needs like this. But many products don’t cover the entire spectrum: some only report on files. Some help you move them. Still others work as extensions to an identity management solution so you can set file access policies and permissions. Naturally, you should look for the solution—or combination of solutions—that best fits your needs, but keep in mind that you can get all these things in one place. You shouldn’t have to try multiple vendors to get what you need.
One option in these situations is the Novell File Management Suite. This product combines these three main capabilities into a single package.
It’s time to start taking more control of what’s stored on your network. Whether you just need one file management capability or many, you now know that there’s something you can do about it. You don’t have to sit by and let the system become more bloated and unwieldy by the day.
Do you have issues with personal files on corporate storage? What are the strangest files you’ve found in your file storage?