About me ...

Born in England, I travelled and worked in various countries in Europe and Asia before moving to Nuremberg in Germany in 1997. Initially working in english-speaking projects for Siemens, I quickly became proficient in the German language and moved into bilingual IT-support orientated projects for international companies such as Siemens, Commerzbank and Electrolux/AEG, Amadeus Data Processing, PPD and Atos. After some 20 years spent in Germany and/or working for German companies, my friends and colleagues consider my German language to be near perfect.

If you are looking for a reliable and flexible IT Consultant with excellent language skills for short- and/or long term projects with and without international travel, then please feel free to contact me to discuss your requirements.


Current Project: Data Backup with Arcserve & D2D

The backup scenario comprises of file servers in branch offices all over Germany, which are backed up to NAS units at each location utilising Arcserve D2D.

The backup strategy is "Incremental for ever" and comprises a single full and 31 incremental backups. As soon as the 31 incremental backups  have been exceeded, the oldest version is automatically integrated into the full backup and removed from the storage space.  This task runs automatically after the backup and catalogue creation has completed and ensures a full backup with 31 days incremental changes for each server. Recovery of lost files and folders can be carried out remotely, recovering the data from the local NAS rather than transmitting data across the WAN.

Arcserve RHA is used to replicate changed files on the NAS to a replicate copy in the customers datacenter utilising SANs to provide the amount of storage space required. In the event of a branch server and/or NAS being lost to fire, water damage or even theft, a bare-metal-recovery would still be possible by means of the Replicate server copy in the datacenter - even if the replacement hardware is different from the original specification. The bandwidth for the replication service can be defined in the Arcserve RHA settings so as not to cause network issues during business hours.

The virtualized replica servers are backed up in turn to virtual and physical tape libraries using Arcserve Backup and are deduplicated at the backup target to save space. Arcserve D2D is now being replaced with Arcserve UDP, and I expect that a migration to UDP will follow within the next 12-18 months. UDP builds upon the D2D concept and source code, but also includes a number of bug-fixes and new functions such as De-duplication at source - if this function works as well as Arcserve claims, this will radically reduce the amount of data replicated across the LAN/WAN environment.


NTFS File Permissions

Two recent projects involved analysing NTFS structures to find the kind of problems that usually occur when you need to move large amounts of data to a new server or other location, especially when combining this with a rebuild of the permissions to a something like a 3- or 4-Level Structure.

Usually, three or four levels of permissions are more than enough for an optimal management of the data. When you have differing permissions on 10 Levels, it gets difficult to manage them correctly.

Common issues that need to be identifed and resolved prior to migration are:

  • Share-in-Share and MultiShare scenarios
  • Cascaded Groups, User Accounts at Folder/File Level
  • Maxpath Overflows
  • Differing permissions on multiple levels
  • Illegal Characters in File/Folder Names
  • Inheritance Problems
  • "SPECIAL" Permissions, non-Standard Permissions at Share/Folder level

There can be many more factors to consider depending on the complexity of the domain structure. The use of scanning tools to analyse each and every share saving the data to CSV files allowed specific reports to be generated for each scenario. Due to the large scale of data involved C# was used to filter the data according to the required criteria, thus reducing the amount of data for the reporting process.

Feel free to contact me for an analysis of your share structures. After ascertaining your goals I can scan your environment and present useful information to your mangement team and system administrators which will greatly accelerate the process of cleaning up your data structure. More detailled information will be posted here soon.

Note - this service is provided for Microsoft Windows Server based Shares on NTFS Drives or SAN Systems which support NTFS. Scanning Scripts require .NET 2.0 on the Windows Server, and a User Account which is a member of the Domain Administrators Group on all File Servers which are to be scanned - additionally the user account will require NTFS permissions to all folders and files which are to be scanned.

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