Unlike a fine wine; not everything gets better with age; an example would be coffee. Once a coffee bean is roasted, essentially you are starting a ticking time bomb of flavor. The roasting process kick-starts the bean’s aging, which in turn makes the bean start to lose carbon dioxide and volatile aromas which weaken the taste and subtle nuances of your perfectly brewed cup. I have seen people talk about putting beans in the freezer or refrigerator, but really you are just exposing yourself to more off flavors. The best way to protect your beans from aging, is to put them in an air tight container and… use your beans! I keep my beans whole until I am ready to grind them, which helps a little, since whole beans lose their flavor slower than ground coffee. Mostly, I just try to use my beans and buy in small batches. Enjoy your coffee while it is still fresh!
There were times in the past when I took an introspective look around the Identity and Access Management space, I felt like major pieces of the field were missing. When governance technologies appeared, they instantly made sense, because we had been struggling with how best to handle roles in an organization, as well as how to distinguish between application roles and the organizational roles that would typically be established during an IAM implementation.
The same was true when the first file governance technologies started to filter onto the IAM scene. As organizations aged, their technology aged with them, but not in the sense of keeping their technology for long periods; in the sense that little gets cleaned up along the way. The age of your files is more often than not, indicative of the quality of data that you are storing.
Which is really the root of the question—what is it that you are storing on your file servers—do you have any idea? Along with what you are storing, the next questions come down to who does it belong to, how old is it, and what risk factor does it present? These are all things to consider when thinking about your data, not in terms of quantity and disk space, but in terms of security and how it may be putting you at risk.
Data governance or data analysis capabilities help organizations to understand when and why they really need to update their storage, rather than just adding additional disk space at the drop of a hat. These technologies also help with understanding the complex nature of files in regards to duplication, compliance and risk, historical comparison, modifications, size, file types, ownership, permissions, and more. Many times organizations wait until a major storage initiative is happening or a large file system migration is immanent to concentrate on this technology; my advice, don’t wait until you absolutely need it; it is already too late.
That’s my two beans for the day, happy sipping!