Solution Areas

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Organizations must establish and maintain control over unstructured and semi-structured file data. Northern is dedicated to helping organizations do exactly this – using a combination of our experience in helping large organizations to meet complex data management challenges and our standardized data management software solution (NSS).

Recognizing that not all customer situations are alike, Northern divides the core capabilities of NSS into “Solution Areas” and subscriptions to these Solution Areas can be purchased separately. This enables customers to subscribe only to the areas necessary for them to meet their currently prioritised goals; building out their use, and their subscription, as their needs develop.

NSS’ five Solution Areas are defined by the needs that they are intended to fulfill:

  • Data Stewardship Framework (DSF)
    Establish and maintain a structure of data ownership; associating file service use with lines of business, departments, or projects, etc.
  • Information Governance and Compliance (IGC)
    Gain a deep understanding of how the file service is being used for the purposes of improving information security and reducing data-related risk.
  • Distributed Data Management (DDM)
    Involve data owners in pro-active management of their data.
  • Centralized File Service Management (CFSM)
    Provide the infrastructure or file service management team with full visibility on patterns of file service use, and the ability to control that use.
  • File Service Cost Distribution (FSCD)
    Distribute the cost of file service provision between internal or external customers.

Key Features in each Solution Area

Storage Quotas and File Type Controls DSF IGC DDM CFSM FSCD
Hard Quotas × × × ×
Soft Quotas × × ×
File Blocks × × × ×
End-user notifications when usage thresholds are reached × × × ×
Administrator notifications when usage thresholds are reached / blocks enforced × × × ×
Link to self-service interface included in notifications × × × ×
Organizational Integration DSF IGC DDM CFSM FSCD
SmartColumns in quota configuration to link paths to data owners, business units, etc. × × × ×
Path Labels to link file service usage analysis to data owners, business units, etc. × × × ×
Open use of APIs to automate and integrate capabilities into organizational workflows
The possibility to integrate with HR/Identity Management workflow systems via API, csv import, PowerShell, etc. × × × ×
The possibility to integrate with existing billing systems via API, csv export, SQL Stored Procedure, etc. × × × ×
Reports – Analysis of File Service Use DSF IGC DDM CFSM FSCD
Scanning of SMB, NFS, SharePoint, SharePoint Online, O365, Microsoft Azure, Azure NetApp Files, etc. ×
Analysis of file service use (using file meta-data) ×
Analysis of file service use (using extended file meta-data) ×
Text mining to analyze content of text-based files × × × ×
File/folder permissions enumeration and identification of broken permissions inheritance × × × ×
Identification of duplicate files (binary comparison) × ×
Maximum number of users who can be provided with access to analysis results × 20 5 20
Self-service Interface DSF IGC DDM CFSM FSCD
Maximum number of users who can be provided with access to the self-service interface × 20 5 20
Ability to edit dashboard layouts; creating view profiles that meet the needs of different audiences ×
File service use can be represented in financial terms (cost dashboards) × × × ×
Ability to precisely control the data available to different users/groups (manually create Access Rules) ×
File system permissions can be mirrored to determine which data is displayed (automatically create Access Rules) × × × ×
Ability to precisely control which application features are available to different users/groups (Security Roles) ×
File Actions – quarantine or delete files from directly within the self-service interface ×
Workflow – tag files for action and require review before action is taken ×

If you wish to learn more about the types of data management challenges you can resolve with your current subscription entitlement, if you wish to learn more about adding new Solution Areas to unlock new possibilities, or if you’re unsure of which capabilities of NSS are available to your organization today, please contact your Account Manager, or