Concept Changes – Storage Reporter to Console

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MODERN REPORTING INTERFACE

NSS now ships with a self-service, Role Based Access-enabled, web-based interface; the ‘Console’. This interface replaces the aging ActiveX-based ‘Storage Reporter’ interface.

Northern is encouraging all customers to use the Console; even if they did not originally purchase NSS with the goal of understanding file system content and usage patterns.

The Console offers organizations the possibility to build a clear understanding of the types of files users are storing; their sensitivity, value, and relevance to business operations. It enables this information to be shared with individuals out in the organization who can make informed choices about the need to retain these files, and the levels of security that should be imposed upon them. It is a method by which organizations can take control over their unstructured data with a view to improve regulatory compliance, reduce information security and cyber security risks, and improve overall data governance.

CONCEPT CHANGES

The table below shows how the older concepts in the legacy interface have been adapted and extended within the Console interface.

Legacy Storage Reporter Concept Equivalent NSS Console Concept(s)
HOST SCAN A fixed scanning definition to collect all data necessary to populate the legacy Storage Reporter interface. No customisation of what information is collected is possible.

Host Scans are scheduled in the Configuration pages of the legacy ActiveX-based interface.

> SCAN JOB A container to which Scan Functions are added. Each Scan Job has a schedule property, performance interval settings (how active the scanning operations should be at different times of the day), and the set of paths that should be scanned in that job.

Scan Jobs are created/edited in the Administration pages of the Console.

> DEFAULT SCAN FUNCTIONS Scan Functions can be likened to reports. The Scan Functions shipped with NSS are used to collect the data necessary to populate the default dashboards and widgets of the Console interface.

Scan Functions are added to Scan Jobs; collecting their data according to the schedule, performance interval(s), and path scope defined in the Scan Job.

> DEFAULT FUNCTION COLUMNS Function Columns are the individual properties of files,  accounts associated with files, permissions configured on the folder structure housing the files, etc., that should be included in a Scan Function, or are necessary to create the desired summaries and/or filters.

Default Function Columns include things like ‘creation date’, ‘file owner’, ‘binary file type’, and ‘duplicate set’.

SCHEDULED REPORTS A fixed list of twenty six reports used to collect lists of files that match the definition given. Customization is limited to the filters associated with the report type – giving a minimum file size to the ‘File Size’ report for example. > CUSTOM SCAN FUNCTIONS Scan Functions can be created by any user who has the necessary administrative privileges for the Console.

Scan Functions can collect, summarize, and filter on any range of properties or combinations of properties.

> CUSTOM FUNCTION COLUMNS Function Columns can be created by any user with the necessary administrative rights in the Console.

Function Columns are very powerful and can be used to collect very specific details about files or folders. Combine three Function Columns to list all files that contain a Social Security Number, are owned by obsolete user accounts, and ‘Everyone’ has read access, for example.

NSS CORE SCHEDULING Host Scans and Scheduled Reports were managed by the NSS Core service. When more than one Scanning Server was included in a deployment then scanning operations were managed on a server-by-server basis.

Scan definitions were stored as XML files on the Scanning Servers.

> NSSX SCHEDULING Scan Jobs are managed by the NSSX service, from the single Console Server in the deployment (see Deployment Topology and System Requirements for more details on deployment components).

Scan Jobs are delegated to Scanning Server(s) for execution.

Scan Job, Scan Function, and Function Column definitions are stored in the NSS database.

Customers who are looking to begin using the Console interface, and are currently running NSS 9.90 or later, should review Deployment Topology and System Requirements, in order to understand what new infrastructure elements are required.

Customers who are looking to begin using the Console interface, and are currently running NSS 9.81 or earlier, should also review Considerations Before Upgrading From 9.81 (or earlier) to 9.90 (or later) in order to safely plan their upgrade and introduction of the Console.

 

Last updated: August 30, 2019
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