Introducing Novell File Reporter

buckgashler

By: buckgashler

January 19, 2010 2:13 pm

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With the release today of the Novell File Management Suite, Novell introduces some truly remarkable enterprise scale file reporting and monitoring technology in Novell File Reporter.

Built with the premise that taking control of your storage starts with first knowing what you’re storing, Novell File Reporter was developed to provide comprehensive file information from the storage devices that make up even the largest of networks. Novell File Reporter can examine and report on terabytes of data—in other words, millions of files, directories, and in the process, report on:

  • Files currently stored on the network
  • The size of these files
  • When these files were last accessed
  • The location of duplicate versions of these files
  • Volumes with the most data
  • Volumes that are nearly full or nearly empty
  • And much more

Over the last few months, I have worked extensively with this product in everything from demos to documentation and the more I have worked with it, the more convinced I am of its ability to assist in addressing today’s exploding growth of unstructured data by helping network administrators learn quickly and easily what files to keep, what files to move to secondary or tertiary storage, and what files to delete.

I said “quickly and easily” because despite being industrial strength, Novell File Reporter is easy to understand and use. You simply schedule a time for the system to take a “scan” of a network volume, folder path, Linux mount point, or Novell Storage Manager policy path, and from the scans, generate one of eight different report types. You can even use a filter to specify a reduced number of entries according to the criteria you wish to see.

For example, in the product demos I have given over the last few months, I normally like to generate a report of the top 100 users whose files are taking up the most space on the network. To do so, I simply set filtering parameters to present only the top 100 users by total size in descending order before generating an Owner Report. In the demo I use actual scans from volumes storing student home folders at a major university, so the reports always make a powerful impression.

Click to view.

A sample report with data displayed in graphical format.

One of the coolest things we’ve done with Novell File Reporter is introduce something called the Novell File Reporter Assessment SKU, which lets Novell partners purchase the product at a dramatically-reduced price for a 60-day deployment at a customer site. The partner can then use Novell File Reporter to generate reports to let the customer know the exact state of their storage, and to make recommendations for cleaning up, tiering, and restructuring the storage.

Of course, the ultimate long-term solution to addressing the customer’s storage growth is automated management—through the directory-based policies that drive the other components in the Novell File Management Suite, namely, Novell Storage Manager (Version 2.51 introduced this week), and Novell Dynamic File Services. If the partner’s customer chooses to deploy the Novell File Management Suite, the price of the Assessment SKU is credited toward the purchase of the Suite.

You can listen to a great Novell Open Audio presentation of Novell File Reporter from David Condrey and Sophia Germanides by clicking here.

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Disclaimer: As with everything else at NetIQ Cool Solutions, this content is definitely not supported by NetIQ, so Customer Support will not be able to help you if it has any adverse effect on your environment.  It just worked for at least one person, and perhaps it will be useful for you too.  Be sure to test in a non-production environment.

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