Thumbnail-server-bloat-R2When we launched FileFly about 18 months ago, it was clear that we tapped into solving a problem most organizations face. Up to 90 percent of data on Windows File Server is inactive. Many classified this as a storage issue and said, “I am running out of storage on my primary file server.” But the more conversations we had, the more it became clear that what these organizations had was actually a process issue.

The Symptoms of File Server Bloat

Reaching an uncomfortable storage utilization percentage is one of the tell-tale symptoms of bloat. But there are others symptoms such as lengthening back-up windows, increased disk I/O and longer recovery times that are a bit more urgent. At the root of all these issues is inactive data.

Knowing is Half the Battle

Almost everyone we spoke to could identify their inactive data. The issue they had was continuously identifying inactive data and then integrating the secondary tier of storage in various distribution workflows. This is when it became clear that what we needed to work on was solving more than just a “more economical storage” issue. We needed to also solve a data migration issue in an automated fashion with seamless integration into Windows Server services on NTFS (NT File System) and ReFS (Resilient File System), like Distributed File System Replication (DFSR) and Storage Spaces.

Using Automation to Solve Business Process Issues

With FileFly 1.0 and Swarm, we had part of the solution; however, we lacked support for Windows DFSR and the ability to offer a complete hardware appliance. With the enhancements in FileFly 2.0 and the introduction of Swarm Servers, we now have all the pieces needed to automate processes for ongoing optimization and to lower operating costs through use of secondary storage and more efficient use of existing resources. This led to the creation of a new solution, FileFly Secondary Storage Platform.

Policies based on file attributes and access patterns are used to determine what data can be moved. Data transfer is automated and transparent to users, applications and processes. Once on the secondary tier, data is continuously protected and files transparently migrate back to primary storage upon access—with full Windows DFSR, Storage Spaces, AD (Active Directory) and ACL (Access Control List) support—leaving workflows and applications unaffected.

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