IBM renews information lifecycle management effort

IBM renews information lifecycle management effort

IBM Corp., bolstered its information lifecycle management arsenal Thursday with the announcement of software and storage hardware for customers that need to retain data for government and industry compliance.

The IBM TotalStorage Data Retention 450 is a single cabinet that incorporates a storage subsystem, IBM eServer p615 Power4+ processor-based servers, a Fibre Channel switch and IBM Tivoli Storage Manager for Data Retention. It uses the Total Storage FAStT storage system.

The product runs AIX on one or two Power4+ processors. It has 2G bit/sec Fibre Channel and Serial ATA drives for a maximum capacity of 56 terabytes.

The Data Retention 450 can be connected to an IBM tape drive for additional protection.

Tivoli Storage Manager for Data Retention verifies that changes are not made to the data and that data is deleted when it is appropriate. It also can automatically migrate data as it ages to less expensive storage based on policies the storage administrator creates.

Compliance-related data retention gear has been at the forefront of the storage industry for the last two years. EMC introduced its Centera in 2002; Network Appliance introduced its NearStore in 2001. Like the Data Retention 450, both use inexpensive ATA and Fibre Channel drives.

Analysts say IBM has been doing information lifecycle management (ILM) for a long time.

"In a way, they've been doing ILM for a long time but haven't called it that or really organized their hardware and software around ILM concepts," says Stephanie Balaouras, an analyst with the Yankee Group.

"I think its more that they realized that they needed to be defining this marketplace and remind everyone that they've been doing this for a long time and already have customers that have been doing this for a long time," Balaouras says.

The TotalStorage Data Retention 450 is expected to be available next month, starting at US$141,000 for a 3.5-terabyte configuration.

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