HP launches ILM barrage

By Kevin Komiega

Bolstered by its recent acquisition of database archiving vendor OuterBay Technologies and by a new partnership with enterprise content management (ECM) specialist Open Text, Hewlett-Packard recently rolled out its largest collection of information lifecycle management (ILM) products and services to date. Hewlett-Packard also delivered on its 18 month-old promise to build out the data retention capabilities of its Reference Information Storage System (RISS).

HP’s ILM mantra is that end users must take both digital and physical information into account when they are planning an ILM strategy. Keeping with that philosophy, the company has launched a slew of software, hardware, and services, including HP StorageWorks Reference Information Manager for Files software for archiving unstructured data, StorageWorks Reference Information Manager for Databases, and a new version of the StorageWorks RISS platform.

Reference Information Manager for Files enables the continuous capture of files stored on Windows desktops or file servers. Users can subsequently eliminate redundant data at the sub-file level through the block single-instancing capabilities of the RISS.

HP also added a new twist to Reference Information Manager for Databases, which relocates infrequently used data to an archive database. RIM for Databases can now automatically migrate and convert tables within an operational database into open XML format.

“We previously announced support for archiving semi-structured data and structured data. The release of RIM for Files is for archiving unstructured data, which completes our archiving strategy,” says Frank Harbist, vice president and general manager of ILM and storage software in HP’s StorageWorks division.

The company also announced shipments of a new version of the RISS content-addressed storage (CAS) system, which stores, indexes, and retrieves reference data. According to Harbist, Version 1.5 lowers the per-terabyte cost of the system by up to 75% by delivering 3x to 5x more compression through block single instancing.

HP also extended its partnership with Open Text to use Open Text’s Livelink ECM software and compliance solutions with HP’s Integrity servers and StorageWorks File System Extender products. The resulting solution is aimed at integrating information capture at the records management level into the ILM process.

Additionally, HP released several data-protection and virtualization products, including its initial offering in the CDP space-the StorageWorks Continuous Information Capture-StorageWorks 200 Virtualization System, StorageWorks Application Recovery Manager, and a new version of OpenView Storage Data Protector.

HP and the other ILM vendors seem to be in tune with the needs of users-at least the Fortune 1000 storage professionals recently surveyed by TheInfoPro research firm.

Hewlett-Packard was first off the blocks in the race to archive all types of data earlier this year with the acquisition of OuterBay. Arun Taneja, founder and senior analyst with the Taneja Group, says the acquisition represented the first time a large vendor began integrating archiving technologies for all types of data-unstructured, semi-structured, and structured. However, Taneja notes that all of the large storage vendors are heading down the same path.

For example, EMC recently beefed up its archiving with the launch of a pair of archiving products for e-mail and reports. The two new products, EMC Documentum Archive Services for Email and Archive Services for Reports, are built on Documentum’s content management technology, and EMC says they are the first products based on its unified archiving platform.

The unified archiving platform concept is defined by EMC as a way for customers to employ a common set of services for collecting, retaining, migrating, securing, and discovering all types of information.

The ultimate goal is to streamline the search and retrieval of information for compliance and legal discovery, content re-use, and improved decision-making, as well as to improve the cost and operational efficiencies of archiving applications.

Documentum Archive Services for Email captures and archives all incoming and outgoing e-mail messages using a message validation feature to meet compliance requirements.

Documentum Archive Services for Reports captures large volumes of computer-generated reports from enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, invoices, statements, and bills, as well as system-generated content from wireless devices, debit cards, and Web services. The content is converted into PDF format for long-term preservation.

Sun Microsystems is focusing on ILM as well, but is approaching it from a different angle. The company says identity management and protecting data integrity are of paramount importance to any ILM solution.

“What’s really lacking in ILM processes today is real access management throughout the data information lifecycle. We are focused on improving access to data and making sure the right people are logging on and how people with access rights are behaving,” says James Whitemore, vice president and chief marketing officer for network storage at Sun.

Whitemore says Sun is integrating identity management technology into all of its enterprise storage management software to aid in the ILM process.

Sun has also launched an educational initiative called the Information Management Maturity Model to advise customers about where their ILM strategies rate in relation to industry benchmarks.

This article was originally published on June 01, 2006