Considering Centralized versus Group Sharing

One of the most important preparation steps for your server is determining how to store the data you create. The two common methods are centralized and group sharing:

• Centralized sharing involves placing all data in one location. You can organize the data into folders to keep various projects separate, but everything appears under one main folder or on a particular hard drive.

• Group sharing involves placing data in multiple locations based on who creates it and who needs to work with it next. Every workstation could have an inbox to hold files that the person needs to work on next. Each person can also have private data stores for files that no one else will need.

The sharing methods aren’t mutually exclusive: You may choose to provide centralized sharing for your word-processed files but provide group sharing for graphics files. The technique you choose depends greatly on how your organization uses the data. If everyone collaborates on word-processed files, then centralized sharing makes sense.

Centralized sharing provides advantages over group sharing. For example, it’s easier to locate files when everyone knows where the files appear on the network. In addition, you can back up and restore centralized files with greater ease. Security also becomes less cumbersome because you don’t have to open as many areas to common access.

Before you get the idea that group sharing isn’t useful, you should know it also provides some essential workgroup functionality. A group sharing strategy can prove quite useful in workflow scenarios where data flows from one person to the next. Only the two people involved in the data transfer actually need access to the data storage area, so this approach reduces potential security problems by reducing the number of people with access to the data. When working with private data, only the person who actually needs to work with the data has access to it. You can therefore secure confidential documents with greater ease.

It’s easy to find reasons to use one or the other sharing strategy in a particular situation. In some cases, you won’t find a perfect strategy unless you mix elements of both. For example, when working with word-processed files, you might collaborate on a document with your peers and then move the document from the centralized sharing area to the inbox of someone who will prepare the document for printing. An editor might review the document for grammar and spelling issues and then move the file to the inbox of a compositor who prepares the document in PDF form. Eventually, someone prints the final document. In this case, you use a combination of strategies to ensure the document is prepared in a timely manner.

Source of Information : For Dummies Windows Server 2008 For Dummies

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