ILM: Promise or Reality in Today's Enterprises? Page 3


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Who's Using ILM Today?

According to Storey, whose Archive Series software has been shipping since mid-2003, customers range from a mid-sized community bank to a recent installation where the largest license is for a 100+ TB system.

Typically, customers install solutions employing WORM tape and RAID to help meet government regulations. "Combining ILM software and storage libraries running WORM tape systems like Sony's SAIT WORM offers a wonderful solution," proclaims Storey.

But Storey sees ILM solution software also benefiting enterprises without external legal requirements. The HSM (Hierarchical Storage Management) element helps customers manage large amounts of data that have predictable lifecycles, making the total solution relatively affordable.

Fixed content archival applications are especially suited for ILM solutions. Examples include document imaging, medical imaging, large scale ERM/COLD, financial item processing, scientific data, and email archives.

"Without ILM, it would cost a fortune to keep all of this data online and available for fast access," states Storey.

Who Will Use ILM Tomorrow?

It's no surprise that XenData's analysis shows a growth market for high capacity, unalterable storage to manage fixed content or reference data. But the rate of growth is staggering. "We see a 90 percent per year growth rate," says Storey. Legal compliance requirements are pushing this growth.

It's also no surprise that with ILM, the more data that needs to be managed, the more savings can be realized. According to Storey, "Today you can install a 100+ TB system for less than $200,000 using ILM."

Compare this with the cost of an online system at millions of dollars. "At the lower end, you can install a solution with a couple of TB of data on a Windows system for under $25,000," say Storey. This is an appealing number for mid-sized enterprises with lots of data.


As with any technology that develops in response to a real user need, ILM makes sense. New software and hardware combine to bring solutions to a new marketplace, so that open system enterprises can now take advantage of the ILM functionality previously available only in the mainframe world. Companies tiptoeing toward the leading edge of solutions will find innovative offerings designed with compliance, management, and ease of use in mind.

» See All Articles by Columnist Marty Foltyn of BitSprings Systems

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