EMC Eyes Data Growth

By Brian Fonseca  |  Posted 2004-01-26

EMC Eyes Data Growth

EMC Corp. is expanding its storage management initiative with a software suite that gives organizations tools for limiting the volume of data that can be placed in their enterprise databases.

The new DatabaseXtender suite enables organizations to monitor database growth and identifies and relocates inactive data to various lower-cost storage devices. As a result, enterprises will achieve improved database performance, according to Don Swatik, vice president of global solutions for EMC, in Hopkinton, Mass.

The storage vendor plans to debut DatabaseXtender along with a handful of new ILM (Information Lifecycle Management) services at Oracle Corp.s Oracle AppsWorld conference in San Diego this week.

"A big key [to ILM] is being able to move inactive data to an appropriate class of storage and minimize data in databases, improve performance [and] manageability, and be able to back the data up," said Swatik. "Tiered storage is a big part of that."

Enterprise IT departments recognize the need to control data growth.

"We were seeing 5 to 8 percent growth in data from month to month thats significantly active transaction data," said Mike Sink, IT operations manager at Cleveland-based Kichler Lighting. "If you dont get that under control, the consequence is lackluster performance over time, and youll have to throw more iron at it."

The new software suite features several components, including DatabaseXtender Optimizer, which moves inactive transactions out of the production database while maintaining user access through native applications. The Analyzer component monitors growth patterns and database application performance, and Subsetter creates subset copies of the production database. All these components are available now.

A module called Archiver, due at midyear, archives online data for ATA-based storage, tape or content address storage systems.

Next page: EMC services news.

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On the services front, EMC will roll out its ILM Assessment Services portfolio of professional services, designed to help customers construct and enable ILM architectures with tiered, networked storage and storage management software.

A free ILM Workshop will help IT managers develop a customized ILM road map.

Other new services include Application Alignment, which compares applications and data with service levels, and Recoverability Assessment, designed to uncover potential exposures to key applications and support federal compliance guidelines. Rounding out the services are Operations Assessment and Infrastructure Assessment. Each of the services will run for four to six weeks.

"Most of the time, these assessments pay for themselves, whether its as simple as storage consolidation or improvement in their processes to do archiving," said Derrell James, senior vice president of EMCs Technology Solutions Group.

EMC will introduce DatabaseXtender Accelerator for Oracle E-Business Suite, joining forces with Oracle consulting to perform customized implementations and assessments of DatabaseXtender for Oracle customers data. EMC said it plans to broaden DatabaseXtender support beyond Oracles database in the future.

Analysts said many Oracle customers are hesitant to upgrade to Version 11i of Oracles E-Business Suite until they get their database house in order by moving inactive data to alleviate performance-taxing hurdles.

IT managers such as Kichlers Sink say existing tools to enable ILM leave something to be desired.

"Right now, [ILM] is a very manual process; at least it is for us. As these tools develop and move to the market, its going to help us," Sink said. "The automation tools have to be extremely flexible and have to match business rules."

Kichler has commenced applying ILM principles within the companys EMC storage environment. For example, the company is archiving older OLTP (online transaction processing) data to lower-cost storage employing OuterBay Technologies Inc.s LiveArchive software.

"We are holding a flat data growth rate for OLTP so we can save the business [money]. We can maintain consistent performance levels due to consistent data volume," Sink said.

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