The changing importance on data and the requirement for data availability can create a problem. This is primarily because it is costly to store all information on high-availability storage systems such as disk. At some point, data has to be shifted to less expensive storage media, but the critical questions are which data moves toward cheaper media solutions and when?
ILM provides a strategy for data management through the information lifecycle from the time it is created to the time it is archived and then ultimately destroyed.
ILM strategies help IT users manage large amounts of information, while at the same time lower costs and improve the efficiency of storage operations. The storage industry on the whole seems comfortable in using the ILM framework as a method to assist in identifying the hardware and software to use in information lifecycle management. It’s felt that ILM can better help administrators assure that information is indeed in the right place at the right time and on the right media.
Organizations are unlikely to offload all rarely used data to cheaper storage mediums unless they can be assured that data can, if needed, still be reliably accessed. Removing infrequently used data from disk opens up a can of worms with regards to information availability. It is important to keep this in mind when moving towards an ILM solution so that data is always accessible no matter where it is stored.
The bottom line: information lifecycle management strategies provide a way to align the cost of storage with the value of your information. ILM is designed to shape the way we think about storage and storage needs by providing managers and administrators with a framework by which they can design, manage and organize a storage infrastructure. ILM is a significant strategy and one to be seriously considered since it provides a solution to maximize on the accessibility and value of data at the lowest total cost.
Ken Barth is the president and CEO of Tek-Tools, a privately-funded corporation with headquarters in Dallas. Barth leads the senior management team, which has a combined total of more than 40 years experience at leading firms such as Citibank, Pierce-Leahy, Micromuse, Chase Manhattan, Bay Networks, and Equitable.