Smart Filer has successfully scanned network shares containing over 1 billion files, there are no known limits.
No, Smart Filer does not generate any significant levels of network traffic during the inventory scan process since only the metadata of files residing on network shares is being analyzed. Smart Filer inventory scan operations can even be performed across WAN links with little impact in terms of network bandwidth consumption.
The Smart Filer inventory scan process puts minimal load on network shares as the contents of files are not being inspected, only the metadata associated with files residing on the network share is being analyzed (i.e. owner, creation date, last access date, etc.)
Using Smart Filer to offload to the cloud provides organizations with immediate access to archived data and the ability to instantly validate the integrity of archived data. With a tape-based archive solution, administrators do not have quick or easy access to archived data and must wait until a tape restore operation completes in order to verify data integrity and accessibility.
Yes, Smart Filer does support Windows DFS
Yes, Smart Filer can offload encrypted files since only the metadata associated with the file to be offloaded is used as part of the policy compliance decision.
Yes, Smart Filer supports the ability to offload infrequently accessed files to local, on-premises SMB storage.
Smart Filer supports AWS S3 object storage, Azure Blob, S3 compatible object storage, and SMB storage. Support for Google Cloud Platform object storage will be added in the near future.
Yes, Smart Filer is completely safe to run in production environments due to the almost negligible load the inventory scan operation puts on the network share and the network. Smart Filer inventory scans can also be performed with read-only credentials if desired.
Smart Filer takes an inventory and builds a data analytics model of your file-based data serving environment. In doing so, it provides you with a full understanding of how much data is being served, the age and activity of the data and its composition. Essentially, it provides you with a profile of your stored data, what it is and how frequently it is being used.
Based on the analytical model it then empowers you to build and apply policies to take actions on the data matching the policy criteria. For example, the action could be to transparently offload the selected files from expensive primary storage to lower cost secondary or hybrid cloud storage. Each of these actions occur in a manner which requires no changes on behalf of the users, applications and services which access the data.
Finally, using its built-in automation engine, Smart Filer makes it easy to schedule continuous and repetitive application of these defined policies within acceptable IT administrator designated windows.
Through Smart Filer, an IT administer gains the abilities of understanding, organization and control over their data, even as it continues to grow. With these abilities, you can now regain control over your storage spending. You can realize the true economic benefits of tiered storage and hybrid cloud including scalability, elasticity and cost reduction, all while continuing to serve your corporate community with greater responsiveness and efficiency.
There should be no changes as to how users reach and access the data. Once it is set up Smart Filer runs continuously and requires no additional effort or training for your IT organization.
No, the Smart Filer enacts policy in a manner which is transparent to users, applications and services. All data is reached through the primary storage; the original share server. Hot or active data continues to be directly served from the primary storage server. Policy affected data is reached by starting at the original primary storage server, but it is transparently redirected from the primary through the Smart Filer to the target location where the data now currently resides.
It is effortless to reach data under the management of the Smart Filer. All users, services or applications wishing to access the data just reach out and open the file on the primary as they normally would. Hot or active data continues to be directly served from the primary storage server. Policy affected data is reached by starting at the original primary storage server, but it is transparently and seamlessly redirected from the primary through the Smart Filer to the target location where the data now currently resides.
Note: there may be a small (sub-second) delay as the content is recovered from the cloud on first open, but thereafter Smart Filer’s, intelligent caching capability, Smart Recall will serve the file as per usual. Smart Recall manages the data restoration in a manner which caches appropriately to avoid inadvertent retrievals and churn.
Yes, unless you explicitly compress or encrypt each data file, it exists in the cloud exactly as it did in the primary storage.
Caveat: The workload or application using the data directly in the cloud must be capable of dealing with objects in place of files.
It should be noted that in the current release of the Smart Filer cloud destination data is not bilaterally synchronized. Therefore, in-cloud data usage should be constrained to read-only interactions. Full bi-directional syncing is on the planned road map.
The Smart Filer software tool installs in minutes. Once installed, running the tool is as simple as point, click and carry on with your day. Point it at the SMB (server message block) based file share(s) you wish to manage, click to launch the inventory and analytics operation and then let it run unattended. It will continue to run in the background with no impact to active users or services.
Once the inventory has been completed, the IT Administrator can use the browser-based dashboard to examine the results. From this examination, the administrator can interactively establish one or more Smart Managed Shares for the original source SMB share using the same dashboard.
A single push of the <Initiate Offload> button will launch the selected Smart Managed Share into service. Thereafter, it will offload the selected files to the designated target destination in the allowed operational window. All of this happens silently and transparently, with no impact or changes for end.
The Smart Managed Shares operate automatically, unattended in the background. The administrator is free to attend to other business. At any time, the administrator can monitor the Smart Filer’s activity in real time through the dashboard.
Your data can be under control and your resources can begin freeing up in less than an hour.
No. Designed to reduce risk and enhance flexibility, Smart Filer is system agnostic with no vendor lock-in. This is true both for the source shares to be managed and the destination targets. In fact, Smart Filer is most effective in heterogeneous environments where the company can make the best use of the best resources as each use case requires.
You are not even locked into Smart Filer itself. It is not in the direct data path for hot/active data. If required, Smart Filer can be removed from the mix through its a built-in capability to execute a total recall restoring all offloaded data as it was originally.
Operating environment requirements:
The software is delivered as a virtual machine in either VMware or VirtualBox compatible format.
If you do not have an operating environment capable of hosting such virtual machines, you may set up a run time environment through third party players available through the links below:
- VM player - VMware Workstation Player download
- Virtual box - Virtual Box download
To run the inventory functionality the operator must have credentials with privileges allowing the walking/reading of the data shares to be analyzed. To run the policy and automation capabilities, they must also have write permission.
Smart Filer has three core capabilities which enable it to perform its tasks efficiently and effectively. These are: data classification and analytics, policy-based orchestration and activity plan automation. With these capabilities, Smart Filer takes a simple, finite source SMB share and turns it seamlessly into a cost effective, scalable, and elastic Smart Managed Share.
In a Smart Managed Share, the files to be off-loaded are selected based on policies defined by the administrator who created the share. These policies allow for selection based on the properties of the files: access times, sizes, file types, and more.
Selected files are off-loaded to the target destination, typically lower cost secondary storage either on premises or in the cloud. When files are offloaded, they are unaltered but both their location in the original source SMB share and their file properties are maintained.
File offloads only occur within operational windows specified by the administrator. If the full offload activity cannot be completed in the interval specified, then the system will automatically pick up where it left off in the next window. When the offload window is specified, the administrator also has the capability to specify how frequently this activity should be repeated. Once an offload is activated, these operations run continuously within the designated windows.
The end users, applications and services see no changes. They continue to use the same source SMB share they originally used to access the data. Where the data is hot or active that source SMB share server will provide it to the user. Where the data is cooler and has undergone an offload, the original server will automatically redirect the user, through standard protocols, to the Smart Filer. The Smart Filer will act as a transparent proxy, retrieving the file from the destination and serving it to the user.
The original source SMB share is now a Smart Managed Share, with its older data files residing on lower cost secondary on premises or hybrid cloud-based infrastructure and more capacity available. All of this is achieved with no additional skills or effort on the part of the IT organization.
Costs reduced! Capacity increased! Flexibility enhanced! Users unimpacted!
Today the Smart Filer is focused addressing on the largest install base which includes:
- Server Message Block (SMB) or Common Internet File System (CIFS) shares, supporting SMB protocol version 2 or later.
In the near future, the tool will be expanded to include:
- Network File System (NFS) shares, supporting NFS 3 or later.
Yes, Leonovus Smart Filer does support suspend and resume on scheduled automations. The administrator defines the window of operations. Any activity which is in-process when an operations window ends will cease, suspending operations until the next scheduled window. When a new operations window opens, the activity will resume where it left off.
No, not during the Smart Filer’s inventory phase. It is a silent and non-intrusive discovery, showing no changes to the file metadata such as time of last access. Essentially, files are neither touched nor moved.
When a share is under management, i.e. it has been inventoried, a selection policy defined and an action plan and target designated, then the content may be moved from its original location depending on how it fits against the policy. However, such moves are essentially transparent and non-impacting. In all cases, Smart Filer maintains the integrity of both the original file and its meta-data.
Most anti-virus software in the Windows world does not scan mounted drives. This is to prevent a load on the network every time a local desktop owner does a scan. As such it is highly unlikely that the shares being served by both the primary storage filer and Smart Filer are likely to be scanned.
Therefore, the anti-virus software will not scan the Smart Filer. As such there will be no incidental pull from the hybrid secondary stores. This is important when the secondary store is a public cloud provider who charges for data egress.
File indexing in the Windows world does not scan mounted drives. This is to avoid index loops and a load on the network every time a local desktop owner does a scan. As such it is highly unlikely that the shares being served by both the primary storage filer and Smart Filer are likely to be indexed.
In addition, most indexing will not scan across wide links. Therefore, the indexing will not scan the Smart Filer. As such there will be no incidental pull from the hybrid secondary stores. This is important when the secondary store is a public cloud provider who charges for data egress.
Not in the current release. Only de-duplication is supported.
Future releases are planned to include both encryption and compression options.
Smart Filer is designed to target a single destination for each Smart Managed Share. Multiple Smart Managed Shares can exist for the same source SMB share only where they involve non-overlapping file sets. Specifically, separate sub-paths within the same source share may be targeted to different destinations using separate Smart Managed Shares.
This is a highly advanced configuration, recommended only for those who can guarantee the sub-trees are independent of one another, i.e. there are no files linked from one to the other.
While Smart Filer can only target a single destination for each managed share, Leonovus Vault, a multi-cloud data controller, can offer the multi-cloud capability. Vault would be the target destination for the managed share. It would then apply a proprietary encrypt, shred and spread algorithm which would seamlessly and automatically distribute the data file across multiple clouds potentially from multiple providers.
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