HDS Leaps into ILM, Storage Management Fray

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Hitachi Data Systems is entering the battle for information lifecycle management (ILM) against rivals EMC and HP and has moved to fill in gaps in its storage software portfolio by adding provisioning, automation, and management capabilities with the help of startup AppIQ.

HDS, a division of Tokyo’s Hitachi , reports its new solutions to provide “data lifecycle management” are aimed at helping businesses meet
the challenges of managing unstructured content, such as e-mail and Web audio and video. ILM, as the majority of the industry has come to refer to it, is the concept of managing corporate information from its inception until it is ready to be disposed.

ILM has come into the limelight in the past year, as storage vendors are hearing pleas from customers to provide them with solutions that will help them meet regulatory requirements reinforced by such rules as HIPAA and Sarbanes-Oxley, which dictate that documents must be retained by law for a certain period of time.

Because the amount of documents can pile up for the duration of a regulation — IDC claims the total number of e-mails sent daily worldwide is growing from 9.7 billion in 2000 to 35 billion in 2005 — an ILM strategy employing both storage and content management is a necessary provision for
customers, according to many storage vendors.

Under the auspices of its Global Solution Services (GSS) division, HDS announced the release of two e-mail archiving solutions during a press conference in the midst of the opening day of Storage Networking World 2003.

The Message Archive for Compliance helps companies retain an archive of e-mail and instant messages for the fixed period of time mandated by SEC 17a4, Sarbanes-Oxley, Basel II, and other regulatory requirements, while the Message Archive for E-Mail removes size-limits from user e-mail boxes. HDS also announced the Archival Policy Design Service to help customers institute policies to help them satisfy document regulations.

While rival EMC recently acquired Legato Systems and pledged to acquire enterprise content management (ECM) Documentum in moves to gain assets that help customers corral unstructured content, Ken Beaudry, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Global Solution Services, reports HDS has opted to partner with EMC software maker Ixos Software, whom Open Text recently moved to acquire.

Beaudry, who noted that HDS has been planning its lifecycle management offering for the last six months, said HDS chose to partner with Ixos on the software it needs rather than going through the inevitable hassle of integrating software from a different company. “HDS isn’t asking customers to learn and manage a second, non-standard storage infrastructure. What we’ve come up with is unlike anything being described by others in the market.”

HDS Taps AppIQ to Bolster Its HiCommand Suite

HDS also entered into a deep partnership with Boston-based storage management software concern AppIQ to bolster its HiCommand suite, paving the way for greater application availability, performance, and business continuity improvements for its customers.

HDS will make full use of AppIQ’s StorageAuthority suite to add SAN management, storage resource management, and provisioning software to catch up to rivals EMC, IBM , and VERITAS in the storage resource management (SRM) space. HDS has also licensed AppIQ’s CIMIQ-X management platform to develop new software modules and has the option to take a stake in AppIQ. By partnering with AppIQ, HDS gains capabilities associated with utility computing concepts, such as provisioning, automation, and cost-to-use ratios.

Akin to its new data lifecycle management push, HDS reports these new offerings will help customers map data from the application to the disk drive, while managing several hosts, including SANs, applications, and storage systems — all from a single window-pane-like graphical user interface (GUI). The
refreshed HiCommand Suite is also now CIM/SMI-S-enabled, giving it the ability to manage storage products from rival vendors.

New HiCommand features based on AppIq’s StorageAuthority suite include:

  • HiCommand Storage Services Manager, a platform for multi-vendor storage infrastructure management, which is built on SMI-S (née Bluefin), the steadily advancing protocol for heterogeneous storage management. The HDS product gives organizations a single repository for discovering and tracking storage resources in a network
  • HiCommand Path Provisioning, which provisions heterogeneous environments for the HiCommand Storage Services Manager
  • HiCommand Chargeback, a software module that utilizes the HiCommand Storage Services Manager database to help businesses measure cost with usage
  • HiCommand Application Modules, which serve as a communications channel to provide application intelligence for storage functions on Oracle, Microsoft Exchange, and file servers
  • HiCommand Policy Manager, based on Hitachi’s JP1 system management software, this software automates policy and workflow processes and helps manage distributed platforms and applications to lower total-cost-of-ownership

The new platform based on AppIQ’s technology supports products from Hitachi partners HP, McDATA, Sun Microsystems, NetApp, Brocade, and EMC.

Story courtesy of Internet News.

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Clint Boulton
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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