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Users Mull ILM Muddle

BOSTON -- StorageWorld -- IT managers at a conference here in Beantown are scratching their heads over Information Lifecycle Management, or ILM.

"My gut feel is that it's [still] in the buzzword phase, and that practical solutions are still a long way off for larger companies," says Bill Nutter, IT director of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.-based McDash Analytics, a data service for the mortgage banking industry.

Nutter, for one, is not convinced by the ILM offerings on the market. "[Users' data] problems are so heterogeneous that it's hard to imagine a hardware and software solution that you could just drop into corporate entities," he says. "I used to work in the broadcast industry, and EMC's ILM efforts didn't really connect to all of our business issues."

EMC has just launched Infoscape software and service to tackle concerns about data classification and migration related to ILM. (See EMC Intros Services.) But at this stage, it is still early days for Infoscape, and the solution's limited scope and high pricetag have been cited as potential barriers to near-term deployment. (See EMC Vows More for Infoscape.)

At least one other storage consumer isn't ready to go the ILM route, at least not on a large scale. "The things that put me off are costs, complexity, and vendor lock-in," says Brian Clouthier, LAN systems engineer of Chelsea, Mass.-based dairy products distributor Hood. "I want the ability to throw my vendor out the door in five minutes if I want to."

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