Home > Green IT > Whether you store files locally, on the server or up in the cloud (cloud computing) – it is important to structure well

Whether you store files locally, on the server or up in the cloud (cloud computing) – it is important to structure well

Whether an organisation has decided to store files in house or give access to another organisation, I believe it is very important to structure files and have file naming standard conventions.

The observation has been made many times that people want to keep all the versions of documents and their e-mails, or have database tables which they do not realise are actually not being used any more. All this does is add to the storage, and that in itself will affect any back ups which are carried out on database/file servers, and this affects actual efficiency.

Having worked for many years as an Oracle Database Designer/Programmer and as a Configuration Manager, I know the importance of ensuring there is structure. Not only does it ensure files are organised, the time required for teams to provide support and maintainance is reduced. Time is valuable!

When I used to design database systems, I always had to question the clients on what they did and why, and whether there was a need to keep an audit trail, for example.

If records were deleted by a client using the front-end system, the record would be flagged as being deleted on the database table and then either copied into an audit table or a script created as a materialized view. So even though the client does not see the record on screen, physically it is still kept in the Oracle database.

Some business processes require records to be stored for some time for legal reasons. Justify what you are doing and you have a strong case.

Prince2 is a document driven methodology and having used it in a number of organisations, I have noticed a lot of documents stored on the individual’s own server, the centrally accessed server and in a configuration management system (which has its own server). 3 different locations!

There is definitely a need to make sure files are kept in a central location and there also needs to be some contingency planning.

I have already touched upon back ups. Personally, I only back up files that I amend on the day. I have noticed some people back up everything on a daily basis, but that can take time to do and use more power consumption. More power consumption, more energy usage and more carbon footprint.

Once you get into the habit of ensuring there is discipline and structure in what you as an individual, there will a difference made in reducing your IT equipment’s own carbon footprint and cost.

There is also software available which automatically backs up files which are new or have been amended.

Going back to e-mails, many people have folders set up to organise their e-mails. Does everyone delete the same message which has had many replies to? Some people even forward all their messages from their separate e-mail addresses to one account they use, but may not delete it from the other accounts.

There will be many what if scenarios such as ‘what if the server goes down?’, ‘what if the internet goes down?’ and more importantly ‘how would it affect the business’ should any of these actually occur?

Cloud Computing is definitely one of the buzz words in Green IT. I actually question whether it is actually truly Green though! I shall write another blog post on Cloud Computing, as again there are pros and cons to consider.

Must always bear in mind security and control.

Chapter 5 in the Greening IT (please see website link 1 below) covers Cloud Computing very well.

Rather than clicking the delete key on e-mails you no longer want, it’s probably best to unsubscribe from those you do not really read, otherwise it just keeps on building up.

So in a nutshell, before your system grows to the point you cannot regularly maintain it (we all have work to do!) , ensure your files are named well, files storage is  kept to a minimum (de-clutter/feng shui the files! ) and you get into the habit of actually deleting what you do not need. All it requires is structure.

WEBSITE REFERENCE

NO. WEBSITE LINK DESCRIPTION
1. http://greening.it Greening IT website

Author: Tripta Prashar
Company: Giving Time and Solutions Ltd
Company website: http://givingtimeandsolutions.com
Professional profile: http://linkedin.com/in/triptaprashar
Date created: 19 July 2010 8.30pm

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Categories: Green IT

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