Documentum Does ILM

EMC uses Documentum software to fill out Information Lifecycle Management strategy

July 27, 2004

3 Min Read
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For all its talk about Information Lifecycle Management, EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) has been missing a major piece of that strategy: the ability to easily move data according to its business value.

Now, EMC says it's filling that gap, though it's clearly just a start.

The EMC Documentum Content Storage Services (CSS) product, announced today, automates the movement of unstructured content across different storage platforms as the value of the data changes.

By providing automation, CSS tackles a problem central to ILM -- the need to manually move data from one place to another. Today, ILM is theoretically the ability to transfer data across different storage tiers, depending on how often that data needs to be accessed. For example, when an insurance policy is activated, that document needs to go from nearline storage to high-availability storage. Or a document that needs to be kept for compliance must be archived at a certain point. The goal is to make it happen without involving human beings.

CSS is among the first products to provide automated ILM capabilities across a wide range of storage platforms. Its main element is a new policy engine that lets users determine where and when their data moves -- the essence of any ILM strategy. CSS also includes policy creation and management tools for defining and changing content storage policies, plus an audit tool and migration logs.CSS installs as an add-on module to the Documentum console, which runs in a SAN alongside EMC's storage gear, as well as with arrays from IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), Network Appliance Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP), HD FiberSystems Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ), and others. Pricing for CSS starts at $50,000, EMC says. CSS supports Windows, AIX, HP-UX, and Solaris operating systems. It requires no agents on servers or storage devices.

Notably, CSS works only with unstructured data -- documents, Web pages, e-mail, XM files, video and audio, and so on. That's a huge nut, but it's not all that requires ILM.

The whole other problem to be solved is how to do similar things in databases,” says Bill North, IDC's director of research for storage software. “That lies in the domain of the database content management space.” Getting ILM for specific databases will require EMC to work with vendors in that space.

Analysts say EMC may be first with the ability to automate data movement policies, but this is just the first step down the road.

“Everybody knows that it needs to be done, so I suspect others will follow,” says North.

If it flies, CSS could perk Documentum sales, which haven't escaped the recent software snag in storage networking (see EMC Bucks June Swoon). The release also represents the first storage-specific Documentum application since EMC purchased the enterprise content managment company for $1.7 billion last October (see EMC Cops Documentum and EMC Swings Into Software Big Leagues). CSS is also the first Documentum release since EMC placed Documentum, Legato, and its open software into the EMC Software Group last month (see New EMC Group Jabs Veritas).— Dave Raffo, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch

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