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Mobile Data a Moving Liability

SAN FRANCISCO -- By his own account, Tory Skyers lives on the edge -- the storage edge.

He defines that place as the point in the enterprise network where any kind of mobile device contributes content to the SAN. This device menu runs the gamut from iPod, to Zune, PSP, Treo, Blackberry, Psion, laptop or desktop computer, USB flash drive, and external hard drive, to name a few.

He uses two incentives to get unthinking users to follow policy or stop doing dumb things. "Fear and money are great motivators," he told an audience here at the Storage Decisions conference this morning.

"What is that data worth to you ­on your laptop, on your iPhone -- in monetary terms? What if you didn't have your contacts list saved?" said Skyers, senior systems engineer for Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors. That typically gets users thinking.

He cited a recent example of an executive who wanted to store his iTunes directory on the company server. "I showed him that it would cost $670 per user for every 14 days of storage for that iTunes volume," Skyers said.
Factor in five other users at more than $1,300 a month and suddenly it gives users a more concrete incentive to set an example ­ and enforce such acceptable use policies within their workgroups, he added.

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