File Service Cost Distribution

For organizations employing a service-oriented IT infrastructure, a reliable and integrated method of calculating and billing for file storage use is a critical capability.

For service providers, the ability to deliver accurate and transparent calculations of file storage use is clearly fundamental to the business model.


The establishment of a fair, transparent and automated billing system for file services that is based on file service use or on space allocated.
The ability to provide customers with self-service access to detailed information about the source of their file service costs; analyses of the content stored by members of the customer organization.
Implementation of notional billing, or 'showback', as an initial step in service cost distribution - requiring significantly less change management effort when the organization does not currently practice internal billing for other services.


The File Service Cost Distribution solution area is delivered as a subset of the capabilities available in Northern's core software product "NSS" and a fixed number of professional services hours that are used to configure the software in an appropriate way for the specific customer environment.

Purchase of the File Service Cost Distribution solution area allows restricted use of the software's self-service capabilities. A small number of users (~20) may be given access to work with file service usage analyses. The Distributed Data Management solution area allows for a larger number of users to access and work with these analyses.


The ability to scan the full unstructured data environment (SMB/CIFS file shares, NFS exports, SharePoint, OneDrive for Business, Azure, etc.) allows for file service usage levels (TB of data stored) to be used for cost calculations. [KB-3119]
Using the features available in the Data Stewardship Framework, associate file service use with specific cost centers, departments, organizational units or customers.
The ability to assign storage space (quota) to individual users or groups allows for storage allocation to be used for cost calculations. [KB-2917]
Using AD integration, share name manipulation, programmatic integration with third party solutions, external data sources, or manually entered labels, creates the necessary relationship between the allocated space and the associated cost-center, project, business unit or customer. [KB-3116]
A documented database schema (MS SQL) and APIs ensure that integration with existing billing systems is straightforward.
Relevant users/groups within the customer organization (maximum total ~20) can be given access to a self-service portal that provides analyses of how they are using the file service - enabling them to assume control over future costs. [KB-3120]
Distributed Data Management
Solution Area Teasers

Provide self-service access to the information and workflows necessary for data management.
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Data Stewardship Framework
Solution Area Teasers

Establish and maintain a clear picture of data ownership within the organization.
Read More

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