ILM Concepts Become Real at SNW

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PHOENIX — Information lifecycle management (ILM) became more than just a buzzword at this week’s Storage Networking World conference.

SNW sessions on ILM covered issues ranging from getting started classifying data and tiering storage to best practices from end users who have deployed ILM. A session on achieving corporate governance with archiving best practices discussed practical considerations for creating a digital archive that guarantees the long-term preservation of and access to digital records. It was the emphasis on practicality and concrete steps that made this week’s ILM sessions stand out; the technology appears to be maturing.

The Storage Networking Industry Association’s Data Management Demo in the Interoperability and Solutions area drove home the point that organizations should employ a set of practices and tools to ensure that the storage systems used to house data are aligned with the requirements and value of the data. Several thousand visitors toured the lab area, which offered demonstrations highlighting disaster recovery, snapshot technology and tiered storage environments that matched data value and availability requirements with the appropriate class of storage.

Hitachi introduced a tiered storage addition to its HiCommand software suite with HiCommand Tiered Storage Manager, a dynamic tiered storage strategy that moves data to storage media that satisfies the quality of service and cost requirements of the application. Data can be frequently migrated between storage tiers to maintain an optimal location. Hitachi’s solution aligns business application requirements to storage system attributes such as cost, performance and data protection.

Enterprise administrators saw how to address the challenges of managing ever-expanding e-mail environments and maintaining performance while scaling the environment. Demos showed how to recover from a disaster, accidental deletion or corruption of data, and how to perform backup, archiving, compliance and security functions.

With high-availability requirements that have pushed IT organizations to seek innovative data protection techniques, continuous data protection (CDP) was a focus of a number of vendors. Demonstrations illustrated the benefit of crash-consistent recovery found in high-availability hardware environments, and the creation of backup copies on disk or tape that permit restoration within a second of the failure.

Revivio announced the integration of CDP and replication technology, allowing access to data at infinitely variable points in time. Using standard networking protocols, Revivio replicated data across two of its CPS 1200 continuous protection systems located on the show floor and in the interoperability area, delivering full class-A disaster recovery capability across the two sites. Revivio’s Matthew O’Neill explained that replication was new to the CPS 1200, which has been shipping for six months, and offers administrators the capability to access the entire dataset across all volumes used by an application as they existed at any previous point in time, and instantly recover applications.

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