Remembering My Sysadmin Past and Appreciating Sysadmins Present

I’ve been in technology for decades, and it amazes me that the more things change, the more things really stay the same. That holds especially true with some of the biggest headaches that face sysadmins and storage admins today: data security and data management. When I was a sysadmin and storage admin at a large, renowned university I faced data security and data management challenges every day.

These past experiences have led me to really appreciate some of the features that are available in modern storage platforms today: specifically data-aware storage.

Instead of wondering how much data was stored in direct violation of data governance policies in my storage, if I had data-aware storage then I could have actually found out what sensitive data was stored quickly and easily, and taken steps to protect it.  Additionally, instead of just wondering how much of the total data I had stored was older than 12 months, using data-aware storage I could have quickly detected how much dormant data was stored and taken action to free space by moving lower value data off to tape (or nowadays, to the cloud as well).

Of course, in the past I knew what I was storing on the file servers and SANs I managed, but I had no idea what others in my organization were storing. Peeking at the storage to get these answers would have been in violation of policy.

It’s easier in some ways for today’s sysadmins and storage admins: there are more tools and more scripting languages available to help determine how much of the data being stored is in violation of data governance policies than there was back then. However, these add-on solutions cost additional money both from initial purchase as well as implementation. They can also negatively impact performance. There are also tools that can be deployed to find dormant data, or data that hasn’t been touched in months (6, 9, 12 months or longer).  Yet once again, these add-on tools can be cumbersome to implement and can also be costly.

Sure…the same problems may exist, but there are solutions to make ones job easier today. One thing sysadmins and storage pros can now to better secure and manage their data – all at the point of storage – is to implement data-aware storage. Data-aware storage by DataGravity gives them all of this information, and data security and management capabilities, for the same price of traditional storage, without adversely impacting performance.

If you’re struggling to get answers to questions around data security and data management, I encourage you to visit our demo page to watch some of the videos we have created. Don’t you owe it to yourself to see just how easy it is to get answers to these questions with data-aware storage and the DataGravity Discovery Series?

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David Stevens

David Stevens is a Technical Marketing Manager at DataGravity. For two decades, David worked as a systems admin, doing everything from taking support calls to building out IT infrastructure to architecting new storage environments. Prior to joining DataGravity, he created technical content and evangelized storage solutions for Dell.