New storage management with utility computing

This excerpt from "Data Lifecycles: Managing Data for Strategic Advantage" discusses how to use DLM and ILM to address current storage management challenges.

Organizations need a new way to manage storage. The IT world has turned their eyes towards DLM/ILM/TLM. The concept of Data Lifecycle Management/Information Lifecycle Management provides IT organizations with a better way to manage a wide variety of data or information, this includes traditional structured files, unstructured data, digital media (sound, video and picture files) and dynamic web content. DLM/ILM will index all types of content and logically store content with like type content on the most appropriate storage media for that content type, within its lifecycle. This helps Organizations improve access, performance, utilization, and costs, to ensure compliance as well as providing customers with an efficient service.

Many vendors are still advancing HSM tools and trying to characterize them as ILM solutions. However, DLM or ILM solutions are generally not successful if they have been developed from legacy HSM technology. Even if a magnificent tool appears to do everything asked of it, IT departments must still understand that the building blocks required for a successful ILM strategy are in the storage management layer and the long term efficient management of information throughout its entire lifecycle.

A DLM/ILM strategy cannot, and must not, be undertaken solely by the IT department: that would be an impossible task. How could IT possibly know what policies to build for which regulation, and what business requirement is needed to ensure the service they provide to the business is accurately documented and delivered?

Already, technologies are appearing that can unify the management of ILM policy setting as well as view the whole storage environment from servers to an offsite archive. These tools, adjuncts to traditional storage management software that has evolved from the mid 1990s, provide a link between the storage layer and the server and end user. They effectively give business managers visibility into the way their legacy data is stored to ensure that it is being done with the most relevant protection, availability, and compliance requirements, over its entire lifetime.

More on information lifecycle management
ILM vs. DLM: The importance of data management

Data classification: On the road to ILM

The bottom line is that all organizations need a robust, scalable record retention and retrieval strategy. They need to store all their data in a secure location, that is cost effective and efficient, for as long as is necessary, that is resilient over time, and compatible with legacy and future media formats and technologies. Data must be stored for fixed periods of time (sometimes as long as 90 years) and, in some cases, on a storage medium with specific properties such as WORM. During an audit, organizations also require the ability to discover and retrieve electronic records in a timely manner. Therefore, efficient access to information and consistent availability is also necessary. To be effective, organizations need to be able to produce requested data in a timely manner, which can often mean within as little as 48 hours, or risk a more in-depth audit or worse.

The bottom line is that all organizations need a robust, scalable record retention and retrieval strategy. They need to store all their data in a secure location, that is cost effective and efficient, for as long as is necessary, that is resilient over time, and compatible with legacy and future media formats and technologies. Data must be stored for fixed periods of time (sometimes as long as 90 years) and, in some cases, on a storage medium with specific properties such as WORM. During an audit, organizations also require the ability to discover and retrieve electronic records in a timely manner. Therefore, efficient access to information and consistent availability is also necessary. To be effective, organizations need to be able to produce requested data in a timely manner, which can often mean within as little as 48 hours, or risk a more in-depth audit or worse.

With many organizational processes moving from paper-based operations, compliance regulations require companies to demonstrate internal controls and processes in order to document what they do and how they do it, as well as demonstrate adherence to the regulations, so that in the event of an audit, they can show who had access to the data, when, and what actions were performed. A system failure or lack of visibility into the system is not an excuse for noncompliance. Therefore, information must always be available for review by an auditor, with efficient accessibility of information and consistent availability – and this also requires the ability to produce reports that reflect origin of data and activity in real time.

Use the following table of contents to navigate to chapter excerpts or click here to view Introducing Utility Computing in its entirety.


Data Lifecycles: Managing Data for Strategic Advantage
  Home: Introducing utility computing
  1: Real problems and real solutions: Using ILM to address compliance
  2: New storage management with utility computing
  3: Data lifecycle management: What should organizations consider?
  4: What does data lifecycle management mean?
  5: Why is IT lifecycle management important?
ABOUT THE BOOK:   
Plenty of storage products are now available, but the challenge remains for companies to proactively manage their storage assets and align the resources to the various departments, divisions, geographical locations and business processes to achieve improved efficiency and profitability. Data Lifecycles: Managing Data for Strategic Advantages identifies ways to incorporate an intelligent service platform to manage and map the storage of data. The authors give an overview of the latest trends and technologies in storage networking and cover critical issues such as worldwide compliance. Purchase the book from Wiley Publishing
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:   
Roger Reid is an enterprise storage architect for Veritas Software Corp. with more than 10 years of combined industry experience supporting various Fortune 500 customers in architecting and implementing a variety of storage solutions including storage area networks, storage virtualization, active storage resource management, backup and hierarchal storage management products. Gareth Fraser-King is the Manager for Product Marketing in the European, Middle East, and African emerging territories producing high level messaging, white papers, articles, presentations, and marketing deliverables. He has worked as a writer and marketer for over 20 years, the last 10 within the IT industry, and possesses a wide range of marketing experience, including copywriting, business, technical and service authoring, as well as business development, operation efficiency, strategic planning, affinity marketing, product development and quality management.

This was first published in November 2007

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