The reason for introducing another version of File Lifecycle Manager so soon after the June 30 release of Version 3.0 was to address customers requests for more ways to handle compliance issues, said Rahul Mehta, CEO of Houston-based NuView.
"One of the facets of ILM is reducing the cost of storage, and the other is compliance. The goal is how to best help customers achieve those objectives, and this version does that," he said.
The most notable feature of the latest version of File Lifecycle Manager, first introduced in October 2003, is its integration with NetApps SnapLock software. Integration with SnapLock will go a long way toward satisfying customers compliance needs, Mehta said, because the software prevents business records from being altered while making them fully accessible online.
By integrating with SnapLock, FLM Version 3.5 can help customers implement disk-based tiered storage architectures across CIFS (Common Internet File System) and NFS (Network File System) protocols while simplifying compliance with a variety of regulations, he said.
Version 3.5 also allows administrators to manage multiple FLM servers from a single, unified console, providing easier administration and simpler management, especially in large-scale environments.
"People were deploying more and more ILM servers at different locations, and because they are Web-based applications, they had to log on to each one of the servers each time," Mehta said. "We wanted to make it easier to manage all of the different servers at one central location."
Another reason for these new capabilities—especially the SnapLock integration—might be a quest for more market share, said Mike Fisch, director of storage and networking for The Clipper Group, a consultancy based in Wellesley, Mass. Products from EMC/Legato and Symantec Corp.s Veritas Software dont integrate with SnapLock, he said.
FLM distinguishes itself in other ways as well, Fisch said.
"It has other components for solving similar and related problems the others dont have, like StorageX and MyView for administering users and security," he said. "NuView tries to cover multiple points along the way with this product line as opposed to having one that does just one thing, and their products tend to be interlinked, so if you deploy more than one, there is cohesiveness."
Although integration with SnapLock is a move in the right direction for reasons of compliance, Mehta said the company plans to integrate FLM with other, similar software applications over time. In addition, the company also will work to develop other features that make compliance easier.
"Say you needed to see all documents containing the word accounting," he said. "Finding a way to integrate all of that into a common framework is the next step."