C. R. O’Brien

Solutions Architect, BURA (Back Up, Recovery, Archiving)

CROBrienHi, everyone! C.R. O’Brien here. My job as Solutions Architect, BURA (Back Up, Recovery, Archiving) in the Technical Pre-Sales department of SHI involves providing customers both technical assistance and recommendations in the areas of back-up and archiving solutions. I’ve completed a number of technical certification processes, and I’m an official Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE), Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP), VMware Certified Professional (VCP), VMware Certified Advanced Professional (VCAP), Symantec Technical Specialist (STS), and Authorized Symantec Consultant (ASC).

I’m also a big sports fan, so when I’m not at work I’m traveling around the country, trying to visit as many professional sports venues as possible. So far I’m up to 10 pro hockey arenas and 18 pro baseball stadiums, and I hope to visit them all soon.

Feel free to send me an email at cr_obrien@shi.com with any questions you might have.

4 tips I’ve learned after 100 Enterprise Vault rollouts

data archivingPop quiz for IT: How long does your organization retain emails, even those in the Deleted folder? How long are business invoices archived, and how are they organized while in storage?

Many organizations are taking a proactive approach in answering these questions, and writing specific retention guidelines as data archiving becomes a business priority. These new policies are often established before new server rollouts or migrations, with IT now in charge of archiving emails, applications, and full data portfolios. The market is filled with solutions that feature fast response times, customized installations, and accurate search and retention capabilities.

But implementing data archiving tools and retention policies is a challenge for most organizations. I’ve partnered with many of them to accelerate the process, and one solution I’ve worked with more than 100 times, at companies large and small, is Enterprise Vault. This experience has taught me a lot about data archiving. Here’s what I’ve learned, boiled down to four nuggets of advice for any organization. (more…)

You may also be interested in:

Email archiving: Solving the problem of digital data hoarders We all know how important email is to business. But I sometimes wonder if we're becoming too obsessed with our email, to the point where we can't let ...
The playbook to stopping dark data Lurking in every data center is an unseen enemy: dark data. This unstructured data causes surging storage costs and exposes organizations to a variety...
The problems with PST files Most companies cannot give users unlimited email storage on their Exchange server (although many users will attempt to test this reality). To control ...

The problems with PST files

Most companies cannot give users unlimited email storage on their Exchange server (although many users will attempt to test this reality). To control the amount of data begin stored, administrators implement quotas on mailboxes. When users reach their quota, they have two options: They can delete some email (yeah, right), or move it off the Exchange server.

Outlook uses PST files to store email outside of an Exchange system. The program prompts users to auto-archive old email to PST files by default, but users can also manually create them. While this sounds like a simple fix, most IT support will tell you that PST files are a pain in the neck to manage and in some cases create more problems than they solve.

To make matters worse, desktops and laptops are not always protected by a backup process. For this reason, users are taught to put documents and files they want backed up in their “home” folder on a network file server, which, in theory, is backed up regularly. As a result, users often put their PST files in their home folder and open them in Outlook to use.

Server administrators (or backup administrators) are responsible for backing up these file servers. There are two types of backups: full backups, during which all files are backed up, and incremental backups for files that have changed since the last full backup. (more…)

You may also be interested in:

You’re overdue for a data protection checkup Data is among the most valuable assets for any organization. And collecting, storing, and securing internal and external information only grows more i...
How to find the perfect storage array If your organization is like most, your storage array is one of your most valuable assets and also one of your biggest headaches to manage. But it doe...
Here’s why unstructured data is putting your organization at risk Big data seduces us with potential. Industries from retail to health care collect untold terabytes of data in hopes of finding correlations and connec...

Email archiving: Solving the problem of digital data hoarders

Email-archivingWe all know how important email is to business. But I sometimes wonder if we’re becoming too obsessed with our email, to the point where we can’t let go of a single message for fear of losing a file or piece of correspondence. Unfortunately, all that worrying is having a negative effect on business — forcing organizations to invest in unnecessary amounts of storage and backup space.

Consider this real-world scenario. In my past life as an Exchange administrator, I found that my organization’s Exchange server was running low on disk space. After running some reports, I made a surprising discovery: 65 percent of all the email in our system was in the deleted items folders of user mailboxes! In addition, most of that email was more than a year old.

Excited that I was able to solve a problem without needing funding to purchase new storage for our Exchange server, I shared the good news with my boss. I told him we didn’t need to spend the $6,000 on new storage. I could simply create a policy to purge the email in the deleted items folder that was more than a year old. With that, I sat back in anticipation of the kudos that was certainly on the way.

Much to my surprise, he answered, “What if people need that email later on? I go back and get stuff out of the deleted items folder all the time.” So the decision was made to keep the old email and add new storage to the Exchange server.

However, this eventually led to another problem: The size of our email data had grown so large that it was taking too long to finish our daily backups. We couldn’t get them done in the off-hours. But the problems didn’t end there; our Exchange admins were facing a number of issues: (more…)

You may also be interested in:

The problems with PST files Most companies cannot give users unlimited email storage on their Exchange server (although many users will attempt to test this reality). To control ...
What you may not know about secondary storage Secondary: coming after, less important than, or resulting from someone or something else that is primary. It’s not a particularly exciting word, a...
How to launch a streaming TV service when your file storage is at capacity On-demand streaming services have made relaxing easy – search for a title, and hit play. But the behind-the-scenes technology that makes streaming con...