By Kevin Komiega
—In an effort to combat "database bloat" and better manage data throughout its lifecycle, Hewlett-Packard has introduced an enhanced version of its HP Database Archiving software with new features for aiding customers and partners in the deployment of archive projects.
Among the enhancements is a visual design environment to help map out deployments of database archiving projects, as well as expanded database support for Microsoft SQL Server and new capabilities for Oracle databases.
An HP Designer module, the visual design environment of HP Database Archiving, allows users to model application transactions, such as purchase orders and sales orders, and to apply business rules and corporate retention policies. The company claims the tool reduces the need for specialized skills during implementation, enabling fast deployment of database archiving projects with existing resources.
Independent software vendors and systems integrators can use HP Database Archiving software, including the Designer module and a developer's kit, to build and support integrations with third-party and custom applications.
HP Database Archiving now supports SQL Server 2005 and provides extended capabilities for Oracle databases. Oracle customers using partitioning as part of their information management strategies can now use Database Archiving to archive complete sets of data spanning both partitioned and non-partitioned tables.
HP Database Archiving uses open standards such as XML archiving for long-term data retention. The use of XML allows data to be stored independent of the application and database while retaining its business context for long-term storage and compliance.
The software also allows customers to use existing enterprise reporting tools from business intelligence vendors for e-discovery reporting while simultaneously synchronizing with HP's archiving and retention solution and Integrated Archive Platform.
The first wave of database archiving projects focused on performance. End users archived databases in an effort to slim down the production image as much as possible to alleviate or avoid problems caused by hitting a performance wall. According to Kevin O'Malley, HP's product marketing manager for database archiving, administrators are surfing the second wave of database archiving and are searching for more automated data management.
"Some of the larger database deployments cannot survive without some sort of data management and archiving solution," says O'Malley. "The most recent push seems to be much more around compliance and knowing how data moves through phases of its lifecycle from transactional to the reporting phase to retention for compliance to end-of-life."
O'Malley says that is why HP was bent on giving the new version of its Database Archiving software more long-term compliance and discovery features.
"Users are starting to look at database archiving as a best practice for future compliance and discovery events," he says. "No one thinks keeping data in one big growing database is the solution anymore. That's why we want to make database archiving easier by making it possible to effectively manage the data."
HP's Database Archiving software, formerly known as HP Reference Information Manager for Databases, is based on technology it acquired from OuterBay Technologies in 2006.