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Files, Files, Everywhere...

Product Manager

Last week at Cisco Live was quite an experience!  It was great to meet Orion and Storage Profiler customers face to face.  Two items that users discussed most was End-to-End mapping (mapping storage back to its source) and file analysis.  Since we recently did a post on End-to-End mapping (), I thought I would tackle the basics of file analysis.

In Profiler, file analysis allows you to look at all of your formatted space (Server, NAS and VM) and summarize usage by file age, file type, and ownership, and build rules to find specific files (“files of interest”).  In this post, we will turn on file analysis for a physical servers, and show the reports and rules you get by default.  We will add NAS and VM shares in future posts.

To turn on file analysis for a specific server, navigate to Configuration->Devices from the Getting Started page. On the Devices page, locate the server that has the agent installed on which you wish to enable File Analysis and click the wrench of the server.  In the configuration page that pops up, go to the file analysis section.

Set the Status to “On” and set the Start Time (defaults to midnight).  File analysis will run every day, you can change it by changing the frequency.


Once file analysis runs, when you review the “Files” tab for that server, you will have the summary file analysis data appear:


By default, you will get summary by file type, file age and user (ownership).

Also by default, you will get three rules:

  • Orphan Files: Files who have no owner
  • New Files: Files that have created in the last 24 hours (Windows Only)
  • Largest Files: The largest files on the drive


If you click the link under files reported, you will get the details on each file, including location, size, last accessed and ownership.


So armed with the information, you can summarize your files and find specific ones you might want to take an action on.  Some common use cases:

  • Find all MP3 (or other unwanted files)
  • Find all files over 1MB and not accessed in 1 year
  • Find all PST files

In future posts, we will review adding NAS and VM shares, and step through creating rules.


  • All of the above reports can be run across multiple servers through the reporting engine (Reports > Quick Reports).
  • If you want to create a rule, go to Administration > Rules > Add New Rule > File Analysis Rule.
  • If you want to change file analysis settings for multiple servers, you can go through Policies (Administration > Policies > Default OS Policy > File Analysis).
  • File analysis walks through the entire file system every time it runs, looking at the meta information of the file (it does not open the file and review the contents).  It does put a load on the system while it runs (generally 15-20% of CPU), so generally users run file analysis at night outside of the backup window.
About the Author
Ok, so I have been a geek for a long time, went to UT finally ended up at a startup, Tek-Tools where we built a monitoring and reporting product for Servers, Backups, Storage and Applications. In Jan 2010, Solarwinds bought Tek-Tools, and I was added to the PM team. When my mind actually wonders from making our products better, I am generally spending time with my family, reading, watching sports, arguing politics or tinkering with stuff (it can always be made better), with the occasional camping trip thrown in for good measure.