EMC Blends Content, Storage

Delivering on its promise to blend content management with storage management after its purchase of Documentum last year, EMC issued new software Thursday to help companies shuttle data across their computer systems.

EMC’s Documentum Content Storage Services represents the first time a company has directly spliced software platforms from the enterprise content management (ECM) and storage management sectors.

That novelty aside, the platform performs an important function, automating unstructured files, such as e-mail, contracts and purchase orders across different storage platforms, as the value of that content and business needs changes.

For example, a business could save money by archiving a seldom-used file, moving it to lower-cost tape storage based on Serial ATA, while keeping frequently used files on more costly disk-based products.

According to John Magee, vice president of product marketing at Documentum, such data migration is typically done manually and could be a tedious chore for IT managers pressed for time. Also, with data and record retention regulations to follow, companies that use manual processes could find that their shoddy migration work puts them at risk.

Shuttling content automatically will help customers save time and money. The new software is not relegated to any particular customer class, and may be used by small companies that need automated rules-based archival, as well as large enterprises that employ tiered storage to manage unwieldy volumes of unstructured content.

The product has its roots in a technological concept called hierarchical storage management (HSM) espoused by IBM, HP and others.

“HSM traditionally operates at a low level, setting policies for tasks at the file and disk level,” Magee told internetnews.com. “So you could write a policy that says when this volume is 80 percent full, let’s migrate certain file types off to tape or some other platform. That’s useful but the challenge is it doesn’t go far enough in terms of understanding the information.”

For example, by bundling content management and its ability to classify and tag information with storage management, users can discern that a file is not only a Microsoft Word document, but more specifically that it is a contract that has been approved by the sales department but not yet by the legal team.

Software teams from EMC and the Documentum division spent the last seven months creating Documentum Content Storage Services, which is a key piece of the company’s information lifecycle management (ILM) bid. ILM is EMC’s broad strategy for managing the lifecycle of an organization’s information from its creation to its disposal.

The new software supports all EMC storage platforms, as well as systems from Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), IBM, HP and Network Appliance. Pricing for the platform depends on individual configurations.

Article courtesy of Internet News

Clint Boulton
Clint Boulton is an Enterprise Storage Forum contributor and a senior writer for CIO.com covering IT leadership, the CIO role, and digital transformation.

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