Information Governance

A growing storage problem

Microsoft SharePoint has benefited from truly viral growth. With Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) available as a free download, departments and individuals within companies are able to set up their own SharePoint portals without having to notify IT administration. The downside is that this has forced many IT departments to play catch-up, installing Microsoft Office SharePoint Server to take control of the disparate WSS sites within their organization in order to provide adequate security, control hardware costs, and optimize storage.

Now that these organizations have centralized SharePoint, the software's huge popularity and rapid growth is presenting a new and growing problem to data centers everywhere: storage. SharePoint data is stored in Microsoft SQL databases, requiring expensive, tier 1 media. As more and more data is posted to SharePoint portals, a growing number of companies find themselves faced with the need to purchase additional high-performance storage to accommodate it.

How pruning can help

Symantec Enterprise Vault for SharePoint can help keep storage to a manageable level by archiving files and replacing them with shortcuts. This moves files to less expensive storage and provides a shortcut to maintain the end-user experience. For even greater storage savings, customers using the versioning feature in SharePoint can benefit from Enterprise Vaults' pruning feature.

As users take advantage of SharePoint's document library features to revise and re-post documents or other files, server space is soon filled with version after slightly altered version of the same item. And, while many companies have policies restricting the size of employees' mailboxes, few set restrictions on how many documents—or versions of the same document—employees can store. With larger files such as Microsoft PowerPoint presentations, multiple versions can fill up disk space fast.

You can limit this space consumption by setting Enterprise Vault to "prune to x versions of a document." For example, you can configure the software to archive all but the most current version. This allows for storage of past versions of documents, or any documents no longer in active use, on less expensive, tier 2 media.

Users still have full access to archived documents. When viewing the document history, they will still see the archived versions and they can restore an archived document to SharePoint and set it as the current version. The interface between Enterprise Vault and SharePoint is seamless and some users may not even notice they're accessing an archive.

Search and discover

Permissions set in SharePoint to restrict users' access to documents, or limit them to read-only access, are preserved when the document is vaulted, so the same rules still apply. Users can search text within the archived documents as well, just as they can in SharePoint itself.

Perhaps most importantly, the information is indexed and dated. That means if you need to recover a document and confirm the date it was modified to show regulatory or policy compliance, you can. And all documents are discoverable, in the event they are needed for legal purposes—a scenario that seems more and more likely as

SharePoint is increasingly used as a venue for multiple parties to revise contracts. SharePoint is here to stay, and it will affect your company's storage needs. Pruning with Symantec Enterprise Vault can help you keep those needs under control.