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  • Sun
    November 10, 2008

Session Annotations

Guest Author

As I described in my earlier blog entry on kiosk users, our team has been in
contact with evaluation and beta customers to understand the problems they face
as storage administrators. These administrators are responsible for the
security of the storage infrastructure, and must understand how and why changes
are made to the storage configuration. Many IT departments use a centralized
ticket management system to manage open issues and requests. When a
storage consumer reports a problem and requests some configuration change, that
user is given a unique identifier to track the issue in this database. The
ticket database contains all the details of the request, like the person
requesting the change, the date and time of the request, which administrator
will make the change, and the current status of the change.

One of our larger beta customers requested the ability to tag the audit log
with a user-defined string which annotates that particular session. Certain
users, upon logging in, must provide a session annotation:

Then, that
annotation is saved with every audit record generated in that session. Users
who are required to indicate this annotation may change their annotations
in the middle of the session, but can never provide an empty session
annotation:

Customers who have a centralized ticket management system can have their
administrators provide the ticket identifier upon logging in. With those
annotations, the auditors who examine the audit log gain a richer understanding
of those actions, as each audit record can be correlated with the information
in the database.

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