The creation of open standards for DLM and ILM will be extremely important moving into the future. The difference between DLM and ILM is discussed here.All the vendors we spoke with embraced the concept of open standards and expressed a willingness to partner with one another to add value to their DLM solutions. It will be interesting to see if this happens, as vendors try to balance the needs of their customers with their own desires to mold the market. Considering that it has taken years for an acceptable level of SAN (storage area network) interoperability to become available and considering the relatively slow pace of storage management standards development, we expect it will be several years before DLM processes become standardizedif ever. However, we do expect to see partnerships formed among vendors. IT managers should keep an eye on the Object-Based Storage Devices (OSD, formerly OBSD) Technical Working Group (www.snia.org/ tech_activities/workgroups/osd ). This group is designing standards for the next generation of storage devices, which will eventually be able to treat data as objects instead of just seeing things as blocks and files. As object-based storage progresses, storage devices will be able to handle DLM tasks such as identifying data and automatically setting policies. Also interesting are the application-level tools that allow IT managers to migrate old data out of databases, keeping database servers lean and mean. Embarcadero Technologies Inc. and Princeton Softech Inc. have interesting application-level products that will become increasingly important as the amount of data contained in databases continues to grow. Next Page: Implementation Guidelines
Most DLM solutions today are primarily single-vendor solutions, which is exceedingly scary for many IT managers because the potential for vendor lock-in is present as long as no industrywide standards exist.