BrainShare 2014 was the perfect venue for introducing to Novell customers the new features of Novell File Reporter 2.5—a product released less than a month before. It started in a big way when some of the new features were demonstrated during the Keynote Address on Monday morning. Probably the most impressive demonstration was the new heat map analytic tool, which lets you select a file system scan and then shows you a graphical matrix of the file system according to Date-Age, Owner, or File Extension options.
While it was the heat map that brought people to our table at IT Central to learn more about the product, it was the new Custom Query reporting that actually sold the product to at least two customers. Here's a summary of the two customer cases.
Battling a Crypto Virus
During a short conversation on Sunday night with a longtime Novell customer, I learned that his organization had recently been infected with a crypto virus that had encrypted many of their files. Their initial hope was to use their Novell File Reporter 2.0.2 to identify the affected files through a Filename Extension report. But they learned that the encrypted files did not get modified in the extension name, but in the file name itself. For example, a filename such as budget2014.docx would be encrypted as budgetdecrypt2014.docx.
I suggested that he come visit us at IT Central during the week and see if we could write a custom query and then generate a Custom Query report that would identify the affected files. I later mentioned this encounter to one of our engineers staffing our table who quickly wrote the following custom query and told me to bring the customer over to our table so we could get this deployed for them.
I ended up finding this customer again later in the week at Meet the Experts and brought him and his boss over to talk to the engineer about the custom query. They quickly saw the capability of what this report could do for them and so later that night they upgraded their Novell File Reporter 2.0.2 to 2.5, scanned their network volumes and then generated the Custom Query report.
With all of the affected files identified through Novell File Reporter 2.5, they were able to remove them and replace them with unaffected files from their backups.
Alleviating a Manual File Analysis Process
Later that week, we met some employees of a company whose boss had sent them to BrainShare with some specific goals for finding solutions to improving their management processes-one of which was tracking file system permissions.
Visiting with the aforementioned engineer, the employees showed him a spreadsheet that they kept that listed specific individual files, their permissions, and other related information, and mentioned the difficulty it had been to create that spreadsheet and maintain it.
The engineer had previously written a custom query that would generate a report that would provide all of that information and a bit more and offered it to the two employees to work with their deployment of Novell File Reporter 2.5. Their response was that they did not have Novell File Reporter, but as one excited employee told the other to "call the boss!" so that they could get the permission they needed to purchase the product right away.
Making Custom Queries Available
With the release of Novell File Reporter 2.5, we are encouraging users who have written Novell File Reporter 2.5 custom queries (including us) to make them available to others. The website location where we'll be sharing these is now being developed and when it goes live, I'll be sure to post something on this blog with all of the details.