RealTime IT News

Oracle to Muscle In on ILM

As one of the leading vendors of software for anything from high level to fine-grained data management, Oracle is adding information lifecycle management (ILM) tools to its mix.

The software giant today began offering Oracle ILM Assistant, a free tool to help customers manage data from the time it is created in a database or other repository, until it's ready to be destroyed.

ILM, popularized by EMC , HP , IBM and other providers of storage products in the last few years, is a key strategy for managing files such as e-mails, PDFs and spreadsheets at a time when corporations are struggling with increasing loads of information.

Thanks to Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA and other government regulations, these files must be maintained unaltered for specific lengths of time, forcing companies to build large repositories to store them.

Storing such data can be costly if companies aren't careful to put seldom-used data on low-cost iSCSI storage boxes, while keeping vital, frequently-accessed storage on higher costing Fibre Channel SANs machines.

"Organizations today can longer afford to use high-end storage for all of their data requirements -- it just doesn't make sense," said Willie Hardie, vice president of database product marketing for Oracle.

Which is why Oracle created ILM Assistant.

Combined with the partitioning capabilities of Oracle Database 10g Enterprise Edition, ILM Assistant helps users define when it is time to migrate or destroy data so that the maximum quantity of data may be retained at the lowest cost.

Hardie said Oracle Database 10g coupled with Oracle Partitioning and Automatic Storage Management provides the perfect venue for managing ILM because the data lies all in one place instead of being stored in multiple formats.

"This tool with help Oracle 10g Database customers model an information lifecycle management strategy and make best use of available storage," Hardie said.

ILM Assistant enables DB administrators to do simulated table partitioning, storage cost modeling and security and compliance reporting.

With the tool, Oracle, though not a hardware provider, aims to provide a measure of what EMC, IBM, HP and other vendors offer with tiered storage platforms that tuck data away on anything from low-end machines to high-end arrays with multiple bells and whistles.