Best Practices for Preparing Your Network for Filr, Using File Reporter and Storage Manager

Best Practices for Preparing Your Network for Filr, Using File Reporter and Storage Manager

A few months after the initial release of Filr, I wrote an article on how file management products such as File Reporter and Storage Manager could simplify the deployment of Filr by utilizing product features to not only help you learn which files make sense to make available for remote file sharing and access, but structuring your network file system for optimal Filr performance. It was a very brief article, and my intention was to always go back and write a more extensive best practices guide.

Well, it took me almost two years to get around to it, but we recently completed a new best practices guide to the Filr documentation set. I use the term "we" because when writing the guide, I worked with an sales engineer who had spent a lot of hours deploying Filr and who had learned how to utilize the File Reporter and Storage Manager features to take the complexity out of Filr deployments.

I recently made this available to Micro Focus sales engineers. Now I'm making it available to you.

For more information on how to perform these procedures, refer to the File Reporter and Storage Manager documentation.

Prerequisite Tasks to Perform Using File Reporter



This section introduces best practices for preparing your network for Filr using Novell File Reporter.

Identify Irrelevant Files
Before you can access and share files remotely using Filr, Filr must first create a database index of all of the files located on each volume or directory you want to enable for Filr access and sharing. Depending on the amount of files in each of these designated Filr-enabled locations, this can be an extremely long process.

As a best practice, your Filr-enabled locations on the network should include only relevant files, meaning files that have been created, modified, or accessed in, for example, the last 12 months.

  1. Using File Reporter, identify your irrelevant files by generating a Date-Age report that includes each network location you want to enable for Filr remote access and sharing.

    The Date-Age report presents file count data according to when files were created, last accessed, or last modified.

  2. Use this report to help you determine which files have not been accessed for a given amount of time and then decide whether to delete, archive, or move those files to less expensive storage.

    Note: After you have identified these files, you can use Storage Manager to "groom" these files automatically to a different storage location (explained later in this article).



Ensure that Access Rights are Correct
Filr utilizes the security and access controls of the NSS or NTFS network file system where it is deployed. In other words, if your network file system is not secured so that only the right people have the right access to the right places, Filr can dramatically expose these security shortcomings.


  1. Using File Reporter, use any of the following applicable Permissions reports on each network location you want to enable for Filr remote access and sharing:

    Assigned NCP Permissions: Assigned Novell file system rights and trustee assignments for all directories and subdirectories from a specified path.


    Assigned NTFS Permissions: Assigned Microsoft file system user permissions for all folders and subfolders from a specified path.


    Permissions by Path: Effective rights to the Novell file system or the permissions to the Microsoft file system according to the paths you specify.


    Permissions by Identity: Effective rights to the Novell file system or the permissions to the Microsoft file system according to the identities you specify.


  2. Based on the findings of the reports, make any needed adjustments in permissions.

    Note: You can ensure that home directory and group directory rights are correct using Storage Manager (explained later in this article).



Remove Sensitive Files from Filr-Enabled Locations

With any organization, there are certain sensitive files that should remain exclusively on premises. For example, the minutes from a board or directors meeting or a proposed employee benefits plan for the next fiscal year might be considered documents you would not want the risk of being accessed and viewed remotely.


  1. Using File Reporter, identify sensitive files located on network locations you want to enable for remote access and sharing by using any of the following report types:

    • Summary report

    • Filename Extension report

    • Filename Extension Detail report

    • Owner report

    • Owner Detail report

    • Custom Query report


  2. Based on the findings of the reports, remove all sensitive files you don't want made available for remote access and sharing through Filr.



Prerequisite Tasks to Perform Using Storage Manager


When you deploy Filr, it creates a Net Folder server for each home directory syntax type. For example, if home directory attributes in an organization vary among the following syntaxes, Filr creates a Net Folder server for each type:

servername\share\subfolder\home_folder
DNS_name\share\subfolder\home_folder
IP_address\share\subfolder\home_folder


You would then need to configure Filr for each of these syntaxes.

A much better approach is to standardize on one syntax type. This reduces the number of Net Folder servers Filr has to create and manage. This approach also cuts the time you need to spend configuring the different types of syntaxes.

Standardizing All Home Directory Syntaxes
Using Novell Storage Manager, you can standardize all home directory file structure syntaxes by doing the following:

  1. Run a Consistency Check report on the network storage to determine settings inconsistencies.

  2. Create a Home Folder policy.

  3. Establish the managed path (the correct home directory attribute syntax) within the policy.

  4. Perform an Assign Managed Path Management Action.



Standardizing All Group Directory Syntaxes
You can also standardize all group directory (referred to as "collaborative storage" with Novell Storage Manager) file structure syntaxes by doing the following:

  1. Use the Consistency Check report that you ran previously to determine inconsistencies in group storage directories.

  2. Create a Collaborative Storage policy.

  3. Establish the managed path with the policy.

  4. Perform an Assigned Managed Path Group Action.

  5. Establish the managed path within the policy.



Ensure that Rights are Correct



For any number of reasons, user home directories tend to vary in their rights assignments. Varied rights assignments are also common among group storage areas. Improper rights settings can affect capabilities within Filr. For example, if a home directory has only Read and File Scan rights, a user won't be able to modify and save files. You should therefore ensure the rights to these directories are correct.

Ensure or Correct Home Directory Rights
You can ensure or correct home directory rights by doing the following:

  1. Use the Consistency Check report you ran previously to examine home directory file rights. If the rights are not correct, follow the steps below.

  2. Establish the rights settings for all home directories in the Home Folder policy.

  3. Perform an Apply Rights Management Action.



Ensure or Correct Group Directory Rights
You can ensure or correct group directory rights by doing the following:

  1. Use the Consistency Check report that you ran previously to examine group directory file rights. If the rights are not correct, follow the steps below.

  2. Establish the rights settings for all home directories in the Collaborative Storage policy.

  3. Perform an Apply Rights Management Action.



Ensure that All Attributes are Correct



Similar to rights settings, you should ensure that all home directory and group directory attributes are correct. If attributes are not correct, files and folders can become hidden and restricted from any modification.

Ensure or Correct Home Directory Attributes
You can ensure or correct home directory attributes by doing the following:

  1. Use the Consistency Check report you ran previously to examine home directory attributes. If the attributes are not correct, follow the steps below.

  2. Establish the attributes settings for all home directories in the Home Folder policy.

  3. Perform an Apply Attributes Management Action.



Ensure or Correct Group Directory Attributes
You can ensure or correct group directory attributes by doing the following:

  1. Use the Consistency Check report you ran previously to examine group directory attributes. If the attributes are not correct, follow the steps below.

  2. Establish the attributes settings for all home directories in the Collaborative Storage policy.

  3. Perform an Apply Attributes Management Action.



Move Irrelevant Files



Once you have identified the irrelevant files you want removed from Filr-enabled locations on the network, you can have Storage Manager automatically move them to other locations on the network through the File Grooming capabilities of a Storage Manager policy.

  1. In the policy managing the Filr-enabled storage location, set a Grooming Rule that moves files that have not been accessed for a set amount of time.

    A sample Grooming Rule is shown below.

    In this example, the Grooming Editor will vault (move to a secondary storage location) all file that have not been accessed for more than 52 weeks. In this example, the Grooming Editor will vault (move to a secondary storage location) all file that have not been accessed for more than 52 weeks.



  2. Perform a Groom Management Action to enact the file grooming process.



Other Preparatory Tasks Storage Manager can Perform



You might need to adjust the network file system structure to successfully deploy Filr. In addition to the best practices discussed in this article, Novell Storage Manager can automate these file structure adjustments. Typically, these can include any of the following tasks:


  • Creating home and group directories

  • Structuring subdirectories within the home and group directories

  • Provisioning specific documents within a directory or subdirectory

  • Establishing disk quota for home and group directories

  • Grooming and vaulting files from directories based on file type or when it was last accessed

  • Moving directories

  • Load balancing storage

  • Archiving files

  • Deleting files



 

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