Sunday, June 10, 2012

Public vs Private Data

Within the storage systems of any individual, small business, or large enterprise, there are two kinds of data. Data that was created by the user(s) of that system and data that was created somewhere else and copied into that system.

In the Didget Realm, Didgets can be classified as either Public or Private. Public data is that which was "published" by its creators for public consumption. Examples of public data are songs, movies, books, and software. Often their creators want the consumers of such data to pay for the privilege. Private data, on the other hand, was created within the data domain of the creator for their own private consumption.

File systems have no way to distinguish between the two types of data. File1.doc may be a popular document that I downloaded off the Internet and I have one of a million copies. File2.doc may be my own personal document that I spent 50 hours working on and I have the only copy. (Of course, it would not be wise for me to work so many hours on a document without making backup copies, but every once in a while you hear about some student losing such a thing.) Using a file system, I cannot tell which type of data is contained within either of the two files.

The simple fact is that these two types of data should be treated differently. I want to make regular backups of my private data and take extra security measures to insure that unauthorized access is prevented. If I lose some software I downloaded (public data), I can always replace it by just downloading it again. If I have a cloud backup solution, I don't want to use up all my bandwidth and storage space by pushing copies of a bunch of HD movies I downloaded instead of my important documents.

With Didgets, I can instantly see which data I have created and what I have copied from others. I can set policies dealing with replication, security, and backups based on those types. For example, I could have a policy that tells the Didget Manager to create two separate replicas of every private document I create.

Public Didgets are by default Immutable. This "Read-only" attribute prevents any changes to them thus preventing a virus from altering them and otherwise guarantees their integrity. If I want my own private copy of a Public Didget that I can alter, I need to copy its contents to a Private Didget. I can alter the Private Didget while keeping the original Public Didget intact.

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