In general, staff have no concept of the fact that making their ‘own copy’ of files that are kept on shared drives is a total waste of space. It’s why they will quite happily send large attachments to a huge mailing list. Why they will happily keep hundreds of poorly focused photos they took on their personal ageing and decrepit camera (even though the department has a brand new one supplied by the school). And, like all the waste printing, it certainly never occurs to them that the money spent on additional storage is ultimately taking money away from a child’s education.

That’s why I love Single Instance Storage.

I ran an analysis on our main storage server today. There are a total of 193,306 duplicate files. By using SIS to eliminate the additional storage requirements of these duplicates, I have so far saved 87.5GB of space. This is approximately 7% of all the user data on that server.

If you’re not using SIS – think about it.

About The Angry Technician

The Angry Technician is an experienced IT professional in the UK education sector. Normally found in various states of annoyance on his blog. All views are those of his imaginary pet dog, Howard.

9 responses to “Duplicates”

  1. Chris says :

    If I said the things on my blog that you say on yours, I’d be seeking new employment. Thanks so much for providing this vehicle for vicarious rants as well as the helpful suggestions that go with them. On which Windows Server OS are you running SIS?

    • AngryTechnician says :

      I’m using it on Windows Storage Server 2008. I don’t think it’s available for file storage on any version except the Storage Server variants (there is limited support in other versions to provide SIS functionality to other applications, such as Data Protection Manager).

  2. John says :

    I love the dedupe options on my Oracle SAN, it de-dupes nicely :) Just copying the shared area for the school it achieved over 2x de-dupe level on one department!

  3. p858snake says :

    Pitty they ditched SIS out of exchange now.

  4. Parlance says :

    Do you know of any SIS solution for Exchange 2010? The problem of users sending large files to distribution lists isn’t one we have been to find a human solution for.

    • AngryTechnician says :

      I wish. My ‘solution’ for this problem was placing a 256kB limit on all of the mail groups in the GAL. Luckily no-one has figured out the easy way around that yet.

  5. Stephen Lockyer says :

    I’d love to know a technican’s perspective on Dropbox. It duplicates, but does remove the need to send attachments, as you can make the links public.

    It has made my life immeasurably easier to organise filing, as it is the same and backed up wherever I work, but I appreciate that it may cause a problem if scaled up to a whole school.

    • AngryTechnician says :

      Right now, it’s purely a consumer technology. Even if we ignore the potential bandwidth use, the client is a pain in the backside as it installs individually to each user’s AppData folder, so you have no way of rolling it out to users or managing upgrades to ensure everyone is on the latest version. It’s also ridiculously hard to fix if the install breaks, and doesn’t support any kind of proxy authentication.

  6. Freeview Recorder says :

    Damned users, who do they think they are ? We’d all be better off without them and their “I didn’t change anything”, “I didn’t see any error message”, “How was I to know the keyboard wasn’t Espresso compatible” attitude.

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