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ILM Gets a Life


And at a storage technology conference last month in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, EMC presented its ILM solution, which includes its recently acquired VMWare server virtualization product (see "Going Virtual" for a review of virtual machine technology). It was clear from EMC's back-pedaling during the Q&A session that VMWare has nothing to do with ILM. A Hitachi Data Systems official at the same conference, said his company's products feature ILM: "Whenever you write data to a disk, you are doing ILM," he explained.

Bottom line: None of the more than 270 hardware and software products called ILM solutions really are. The range of offerings include HSM (hierarchical storage management) software, document- and content-management systems, global name space management and virtualization tools, e-mail and database archiving products, backup/restore software, enterprise storage arrays, high-capacity SATA arrays and "sticky" content addressable storage arrays (a new category of appliances intended for long-term storage).

History Lesson

The term ILM was coined by StorageTek and made possible by IBM with mainframe-based Systems Managed Storage (SMS) in the late 1970s. ILM is a strategy for optimizing the management, allocation and utilization of storage resources in mainframe environments, where software tools classify data and storage resources and record access made to specific data sets. This information is used by a policy-based data mover to migrate data intelligently among storage devices over time.


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