EMC is blurring the lines between archival storage and easy, business-boosting access to enterprise data.

The data storage giant today announced InfoArchive 3.0, a storage platform that the company’s David Mennie, Director of Product Marketing for the Information Intelligence Group, describes as “game-changing.” EMC InfoArchive enables organizations to consolidate structured unstructured and hybrid data into a single data repository.

It’s a capability that Mennie predicts will help companies to “unlock a whole variety of next generation applications” based on data that would otherwise be relegated to die a slow death locked away in its own little silo. Applications include Big Data-driven advanced analytics, which is currently all the rage in corporate IT, courtesy of InfoArchive’s extensive integrations and platform-agnostic foundation.

“Most executives today are still making decisions on gut feel or what’s currently happening on the market,” Mennie told InfoStor. “More organizations want to be data-driven.” By placing application data into InfoArchive — the tech supports “high-speed ingest and high-speed recall,” said Mennie — the technology provides an easy-to-manage shortcut to business analytics.

The benefits extend to the natural IT churn that occurs when businesses modernize or acquire another entity. In a company blog post, Rohit Ghai, senior vice president and general manager of Products and Solutions for EMC’s Information Intelligence Group, asserted that “customers can easily retire their legacy applications knowing any type of information can be securely archived and retained while preserving the value of enterprise information.”

Further, the technology enables “live archiving,” allowing organizations to eke out “higher performance out of their mission-critical applications by moving inactive data to a much more cost effective archive,” added Ghai. In short, archival data no longer has to be dusted off to regain its utility, virtually speaking.

“Unlike traditional passive archives, this information can be viewed or served back to a web portal or application in real-time while meeting regulatory and compliance requirements,” stated Ghai.

InfoArchive supports billions of objects, and hundreds of terabytes of data and “any type of schema or application,” according to the company. Other features include smart partitioning, caching and a variety of security and compliance capabilities, including WORM (write once, read many) support and RSA DPM (Data Protection Manager) Integration.

Already, some large companies are putting these capabilities through their paces.

Early customers include Nokia, which is using the solution for project archiving. US Bank and the United Health Group are leveraging InfoArchive for application decommissioning initiatives while automakers Jaguar and Land Rover are using the technology for live archiving.

EMC InfoArchive goes on sale in the spring of 2014.