Today's focus: Five steps to information lifecycle mgmt.

By Mike Karp

HP has been talking about information lifecycle management for a
while, and a skeleton of its strategy has been in the public
view for about a year. Last week, the company put a bit more
flesh on the bones.

Now I know that some of you at this point might be wondering why
an ILM strategy takes so long to develop. We have, after all,
been talking about it for two years now and, at first blush, ILM
looks like hierarchical storage management (HSM), which has been
with us for about 20 years.

As many of you understand however, HSM is not at all the same
thing as ILM, and only represents a single subset of all the
various technologies that are a part of ILM. Thus, even though
HSM has been kicking around since the late 1980s courtesy of
IBM's mainframe (now z/OS) group, the fact that we have been
able to manageably demote mainframe data from disk to tape media
represents at best only a beginning.

To be sure, HSM was a valuable first step. However it was only
that, and it never addressed a number of major issues that have
become increasingly critical as data has piled up in the data
center. Particularly important are concerns such as how to get
data back on line rapidly, how to provide multiple tiers of both
spinning media and the services that manage them, and how to
provide the same level of data management to non-mainframe IT

This last is a particularly significant point. Given the number
of enterprise open systems and Windows sites these days, not to
mention mixed environments, it is obvious that vendors able to
offer increased economies of management to all levels of IT
installations will have a huge market to serve. HP intends to
address most of this market.

The company sees ILM as a five-step, evolutionary process on the
road to what it likes to refer to as the adaptive enterprise
("adaptive enterprise" is HP's term for what its competitors
prefer calling "utility" or "on-demand" computing - HP on many
occasions uses these terms as well).

In step No. 1, data is discovered and classified. At this point
data is inventoried and typed. This is also when content is
discovered and is assigned metadata based on IT policies.

Step No. 2 involves assigning storage to tiers which, broadly
speaking, are defined as online, active archive, and offline
archiving to tape.

During step No. 3, policy-based data migration occurs. Data
automatically moves off high-end storage when its lifecycle
stage warrants such movement. QoS of improvements begin to occur
as high-end storage becomes more readily available. It is at
this stage that cost reductions begin to appear.

In step No. 4, the information is made continuously available.
Content is indexed and searchable, with backed up content
readily accessible from virtual tape.

Step No. 5 sees storage management becoming completely
application-aware, tuned to the special needs associated with
whatever applications are being used.

These are the fundamentals. Next time, we'll look at how HP
products and services are likely to play in the ILM space.


Taking the best of tape and disk
Network World, 03/28/05

Copyright Network World, Inc., 2005

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Copyright 2008 Art Beckman. All rights reserved.

Last Modified: March 9, 2008