Many faculty members in the College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services write textbooks and collaborate on research with professors at other colleges and universities. To protect their data and authors’ rights—and keep collaboration easy—the IT director created a solution based on Micro Focus technology.
"Storage Manager is the single greatest product I’ve ever used. Without Storage Manager, we wouldn’t be able to offer unlimited storage to our Filr users."
UC College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services
Brian Verkamp is the IT director for one of the largest colleges in the University of Cincinnati. He manages more than 700 user accounts and 1,000+ devices for the faculty and staff, plus a storage area network (SAN) with 15 terabytes (and growing) of data.
His department has been using Novell (now a part of Micro Focus) technology for 15 years, including Micro Focus Open Enterprise Server, Micro Focus ZENworks, Micro Focus Storage Manager and Micro Focus File Reporter.
"Novell products don’t let us down,” he says. “Plus, they all work together. Anytime you can integrate different products easily, it really saves you time and frustration.”
Brian and his team spent many hours structuring the department’s file system and SAN to protect its data. The university is required to comply with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) and other regulations for privacy and data storage.
To help safeguard collaboration with authors outside of the university—without complicating the process for faculty members—he started looking for a secure file-sharing solution.
“We’ve all heard horror stories about sensitive data such as a manuscript stored in the cloud that gets stolen and published elsewhere. We didn’t want that happening to anyone in the College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services at the University of Cincinnati,” he says. “We needed a product that would allow us to use our secure local cloud storage but provide features like other public cloud solutions, such as web access and device sync.”
As he’d done many times before, Brian turned to Novell for a solution.
“Novell products generally work as advertised, so when we need a solution, we look there first.
We also rely on Novell for easy integration with our existing systems,” he says.
Micro Focus Filr would provide the easy, Drop-box-like functionality that the faculty wanted while protecting the compliance and security of the college’s file system.
“Filr is easy to use, easy to install, and it allows me to hook right into our SAN,” he says. “Our data is local, secure, on campus and on American soil. Our information security department frowns on any storage kept on foreign soil.”
Before enabling any network area for Filr, Brian used File Reporter to find out who had rights to that area and how those rights were derived.
“We divide our 700 user accounts into containers by department. Filr understands and respects our Groups and Directory Rights,” he says.
File Reporter also helped him identify and remove temp files left by Mac computers, freeing up more storage space.
Today, the faculty and staff in the College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services are enjoying the ease of Filr with no worries about data theft or storage limits.
“We provide unlimited storage for our Filr users,” Brian says. “Our college uses videos to train classroom teachers. Faculty members are very happy with Filr because they can easily share large video files.”
The IT staff uses Storage Manager to optimize more than 15 TB of data on the SAN.
“Storage Manager is the single greatest product I’ve ever used. Without Storage Manager, we wouldn’t be able to offer unlimited storage to our Filr users. It can archive things behind the scenes, giving us a lot of flexibility with our space,” he says. “And, File Reporter helps us plan and monitor usage. I don’t know how anyone manages a large storage system without it.”
Using Micro Focus products for file and network management has also helped Brian keep IT costs low.
“Novell helps us do more with less people,” he says. “We use ZENworks Configuration Management for imaging, software delivery, asset management, policies—you name it. For desktop support and storage management, Novell enables us to do it all with a staff of three.”