Bruce Backa

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Top Stories by Bruce Backa

How many kinds of files are in use in your organization? Fifty? A hundred? More? Wrong. There are only two kinds of files: active files and inactive files. (I admit it was a trick question.) Users create a file - a spreadsheet, an image, an invoice, etc. As long as the file is being worked with, it's an active file. Users can share, collaborate, and edit the file to their heart's content, but eventually the file is no longer current, and it becomes inactive. But in this litigious and increasingly regulated world, there is no such thing as deleting a file. You're stuck with that inactive file, for years, if not forever, like your 30-year-old college dropout kid who still lives in the basement. Despite advances in technology and a proliferation of alternatives, the way we manage the growth in files has not changed much in the last decade or two. We let the volume ... (more)

How to Avoid Creating a Network Security Hole with Your Windows Server-Based App

Nowadays it's quite common for us to write server-based applications. These apps differ from desktop applications in many ways - one of the most important of which is how they handle security. For a desktop application, security is easy. The application runs in the security context of the user who loaded it. Whatever the user has rights to, the desktop app has rights to, and nothing more. Server-based applications, on the other hand, run all the time and have their own security context, in addition to others they may impersonate. For many of the server-based applications we migh... (more)

Information Security - No Longer the Perennial Afterthought

Storage always seems to come first in technical discussions and security seems to be the perennial afterthought. This can be considered reasonable given how we shop for things in general, namely finding the thing that meets our expectations and then ensure it has all the bells and whistles. The good news is that this seems to be changing bit by bit as our industry realizes that security is no longer a nice-to-have feature, but is actually a core requirement. This movement was brought into focus recently when Patrick was involved in a meeting with Senator John Sununu of New Hampsh... (more)

Storage & Security Journal: "Striking the Right Balance"

Storage is still one of the most costly and fastest-growing aspects of everyone's network and is likely to remain so for some time. Every network user is a storage user. We're all part of a community that shares the costs and the benefits of this expensive resource. Storage management can be a challenging task. There's so much hardware, so many alternatives, and so many issues that it's easy to get lost in the details and fail to see the forest for the trees. Networked storage is a service not a product. While hardware is necessary for you to provide the service, successful stor... (more)

What's In Store For 2006?

Okay, summer's over. Let's get back to work... But first, let's look at what's new. Microsoft has taken WinFS, its new file system, out of the first release of its next operating system. The story is that WinFS will follow soon after the OS releases. For most of us, this is something we don't need to worry about for a couple of years, at least. EMC has reduced prices on its Celera line of NASes. Network Appliance still dominates the high-end NAS business and its alliance with NTP Software for storage management gives it a significant advantage in the marketplace. Speaking of NTP S... (more)