By Terry Sweeney
December 5, 2007
SAN FRANCISCO -- By his own account, Tory Skyers lives on the edge --
the storage edge.
He defines that place as the point in the enterprise network where any
kind of mobile device contributes content to the SAN. This device menu
runs the gamut from iPod, to Zune, PSP, Treo, Blackberry, Psion, laptop
or desktop computer, USB flash drive, and external hard drive, to name a
He uses two incentives to get unthinking users to follow policy or stop
doing dumb things. "Fear and money are great motivators," he told an
audience here at the Storage Decisions conference this morning.
"What is that data worth to you on your laptop, on your iPhone -- in
monetary terms? What if you didn't have your contacts list saved?" said
Skyers, senior systems engineer for Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors.
That typically gets users thinking.
He cited a recent example of an executive who wanted to store his iTunes
directory on the company server. "I showed him that it would cost $670
per user for every 14 days of storage for that iTunes volume," Skyers
said. Factor in five other users at more than $1,300 a month and
suddenly it gives users a more concrete incentive to set an example and
enforce such acceptable use policies within their workgroups, he added.
IT should not be immune from enforcement, Skyers said. Consequently,
when he wants to take a gander at jpegs of loved ones or work on a
personal document, he plugs in the 8-Gbyte USB drive he keeps on his
keychain and none of it gets backed up to company servers.
Skyers encouraged storage pros to do some social networking of their
Reach out to the marketing department to help come up with catchy ways
to get people to be smarter about what they save and how they use the
If the legal department hasn't already thought it through, remind them
that the Bank of America got fined millions of dollars daily for its
inability to produce emails. Ask human resources to get involved to give
the policy some teeth, whether it's a reprimand or something more
draconian. "They enjoy that," Skyers said, to appreciative nods from the
He also encouraged more intra-departmental discussion within IT. "How
many times have you heard, 'I'm a security guy, I don't wanna look at
your hard drive'?" he asked. Those are conversations that businesses of
all sizes need to have to make sure artificial fiefdoms don't compromise
IT can also step in and create sanctioned alternatives like memberships
to P2P file-sharing services that operate legally. And they can get more
proactive by deploying desktop management programs like Desktop
Authority and Powerfuse, which limit user's ability to store outside
permitted folders, and restrict executables like Google Search, Skyers
Other controls, like SurfControl Mobile Filter, limit access to certain
Websites and protocols when the user is outside the network or VPN, and
prevents downloading unauthorized data content.
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