Bytware Launches ‘Recycle Bin’ for OS/400
August 24, 2004 Alex Woodie
What happens when you accidentally delete a file or a library on OS/400’s Integrated File System (IFS) from your PC? If you’re lucky enough to have back-ups, you could restore the data from tape. But if the file or library had just been created, you are simply out of luck. Yesterday Bytware launched a new data recovery tool called StandGuard Recycle Bin, which prevents accidental or malicious deletion of data on the IFS.
PC users have long been accustomed to the safety net provided by Microsoft‘s Windows Recycle Bin (one of several ideas that Microsoft “borrowed” from the Apple Macintosh with the debut of Windows 95). Whenever a user deletes a file, it is sent to the Recycle Bin (or “Trash Can” on the Mac), where it sits until the user permanently deletes it.
Within OS/400’s Windows-like IFS file system, however, there is no such safety net. When somebody working from a Windows PC with a mapped drive to the iSeries IFS deletes a file or a library that resides on the iSeries’ IFS, the file or library does not go into the PC’s Recycle Bin; it is deleted from the system. Unless that data has been backed up or mirrored to disk or tape, it’s lost forever.
StandGuard Recycle Bin provides a safety net for IFS environments. The OS/400 utility monitors IFS directories and captures any files that are deleted, either accidentally, through user error, or maliciously, through a virus or a worm.
Bytware originally developed StandGuard Recycle Bin to work as a companion product to StandGuard Anti-Virus, a native virus scanning and removal tool for OS/400. One of Bytware’s soon-to-be StandGuardAV customers lost data when its iSeries server became infected with MyDoom.F, the Windows virus that delivers a file-deleting payload. While the customer was able to recover, from tape backups, 9,700 of the 10,000 files that had been deleted by the virus, 300 were permanently deleted.
But viruses and worms aren’t the only threat to the safety of the IFS. Uninformed or careless users can wreak plenty of havoc, too. All it takes is a user who’s low on disk space going into Windows Explorer and deleting items that seem to be taking up too much space, such as that pesky QIBM folder.
In fact, the Recycle Bin already proved itself in this regard at Bytware’s Reno, Nevada, headquarters, when a developer accidentally deleted the “J” drive when accessing one of the company’s development iSeries from the field. Recycle Bin caught the boo-boo, preventing the developer from having to drive back into town to recover the source code from tape, which itself is an iffy proposition, he says. “I hate going back to backups. There’s always a chance the tape will fail,” he says.
StandGuard Recycle Bin is accessed through a green-screen interface or through the iSeries Navigator GUI management console, where the product has an icon that looks like a trash can. The product can be set up to safeguard only certain libraries on the IFS (such as QIBM) and to ignore other libraries, such as temporary libraries, which experience a lot of deletion activity as a normal course of business, anyway. The product can also be configured to keep files for a certain number of days before permanently deleting them.
StandGuard Recycle Bin is available now. Pricing is a flat $995 per box or logical partition, which includes the first 12 months of support. After that, support costs 15 percent per year. For more information, go to www.bytware.com.