HP Orders Up an ILM Facelift

Hewlett-Packard announces myriad products to guide customers through archiving, backup and recovery and data protection-also known as ILM.

In its biggest information lifecycle management product launch to date, Hewlett-Packard announced several new offerings on April 24 that are earmarked to help enterprise customers capture and make sense of complex archiving, data protection and stand-alone application backup and recovery.

HP introduced three products this week that round out its data archival family and strategy. HP StorageWorks RISS (Reference Information Storage Systems) and HP StorageWorks RIM (Reference Information Manager) for Databases feature enhancements, and are joined by a third new offering in the portfolio, HP StorageWorks RIM for Files.

HP StorageWorks RIM for Files is targeted for availability in the third quarter of 2006. The product enables customers to have a common repository capable of indexing, searching and retrieving data types in a common repository via RISS block single-instancing capability on the backend.

The software is capable of eliminating redundancy at the sub-file level and can capture and migrate files from Microsoft Windows desktops or file servers over to any storage device or storage system, said Frank Harbist, vice president and general manager of ILM and Storage Software, StorageWorks division at HPs Palo Alto, Calif., headquarters.

Initially announced as part of an OEM relationship with OuterBay—which was acquired by HP in February—RIM for Databases 2.0 is HPs next generation of the technology featuring tighter integration with RISS.

Because the encapsulated archive automatically migrates and converts tables within an operational database into an open XML format, administrators can increase efficiency by cleaning up less-used storage and moving the clutter of unused records over to different tiers of storage.

This allows applications or databases to run faster. RIM for Databases 2.0 will be available in June.

For RISS itself, HP has extended the scalability of its active-archiving platform by increasing storage capacity of smart cells that power the technology from 850GB to 1.4TB.

In addition, new compression capabilities have been added through improved block-level single-instancing enhancements. The enhancements being rolled out with RISS v1.5 are available in June.

By taking advantage of the finer level grain of data storage and compression with only the Delta being stored and single instance below the file level, Harbist said customers can save as much as 75 percent of storage.

Richard Hall, group IT manager for CODA plc, based in Harrogate, Yorkshire, UK, said HPs RISS plays a key role in helping his company, a financial accounting software maker, to grasp a "bigger picture" message that ILM is a broader enterprise concept beyond simply storing and archiving data.

"Weve talked about using ILM to store data in a particular manner with [rules about] who can access it, the policy around how long you want to keep it, and the ability to destroy it at the end," said Hall.

/zimages/6/28571.gifClick here to read about HPs purchase of ILM maker OuterBay.

"You cant just keep growing and growing your storage. We want to look at being intelligent as we understand what do as a business and manage e-mail in an [over-arching] ILM strategy."

Hall said that HPs vision and roadmap of products is in step with their ILM strategy—particularly surrounding compliance and offerings targeting archiving and retrieving information—and rose above other ILM messages from large-scale storage vendors that CODA considered going with.

"We did find with some of the [storage] vendors we dealt with that [ILM] was as muddled view around tamper proof storage, compliance; what level are you going to get out of the box. Its almost like an education process for us. But when the penny dropped, it all became clear, Thats what HP was saying to us four months earlier," Hall said.

Next Page: Continuous data protection and synthetic full backups.