FAQ page

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:

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.  

Data Discovery Tool 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.

The first step in solving a problem, be it data capacity, migration, or digital transformation is understanding the data sets tied to the problem.

Three of the most pressing use cases where this knowledge is useful include:

  • Primary file storage that is at or exceeding capacity. Which is further stressed by fixed or declining storage budgets and/or runaway data growth.
  • Data migration which is being driven due to equipment reaching end-of-life or refresh dates, corporate re-organization, amalgamation or consolidation.
  • Sound data governance and management, keeping only active data in highly performant, highly expensive primary storage.

For the time being, unrestricted use Data discovery tool is free.  Only your time is needed to take advantage of this opportunity.  Sensitive to this fact, the Data Discovery Tool was designed to easily fit into most corporate IT environments.  Based on feedback from our clients, the majority of tool installations are operational and feeding valuable information in 30 minutes or less.

The 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, click to launch the analytics operation and then let it run unattended.  The tool will continue to run in the background with no impact to active users or services.   

The tool is capable of running multiple concurrent analyses in parallel. The Data Discovery dashboard allows you to see the progress of the analyses in real time and it will indicate when each analysis is complete.  Once complete, you can study the data interactively through the dashboard or download the results for offline consideration.

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:

 To run the tool the operator must have credentials with privileges allowing the of walking/reading of the data shares to be analyzed.

The tool connects to the share(s) in question, including focusing in on optionally specified sub trees, and walks through the file system, cataloging as it progresses.  The walk is silent and non-intrusive, showing no changes to the file metadata such as time of last access.  Essentially, files are neither touched nor moved.

 When it is complete with its analysis, the tool presents a report of its findings for the share(s) in question.   The report can be studied interactively through the data discovery tool’s, browser-based dashboard or the compete data can be downloaded in CSV format for offline analytics or historical recording purposes.

Today the Data Discovery Tool is focused 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.

No, this feature is not available in the Data Discovery Tool.  However, with its built-in automation and activity scheduling, Leonovus Smart Filer, does have the capability to run within a user-designated interval, picking up where it leaves off between windows.

No, the tool’s discovery is silent and non-intrusive, showing no changes to the file metadata such as time of last access.  Essentially, files are neither touched nor moved.

The Data Discovery dashboard allows you to see the progress of your analyses in real time and it will indicate when each analysis is complete.  Once complete, you can study the data interactively through the dashboard or download the results for offline consideration. Each report is a snapshot of your data environment.

Now that you have knowledge of the data you are storing and the activity around the data, you are ready to take action to solve your most urgent storage problems.  Whether your challenge is to:

  • Off-load near or over capacity expensive primary servers
  • Manage, organize and consolidate your data storage infrastructure
  • Cut storage costs in the face of continuous data growth

For a challenge unique to your environment, the  Leonovus Smart Filer is an easy to use product built to address these needs effectively and efficiently.  Smart Filer lets you realize the cloud benefits of economy, elasticity and scale through automated and transparent information lifecycle management enabling and executing analytics-based policies for data offload or migration.

For more information on Smart File, the Data Discovery Tool or Vault go to:

www.leonovus.com

 

For online help with your installed software, send an email with your concern to:

[email protected]