Hitting a moving target how today's DLM technology can help achieve the ILM vision of the future: ILM is a hot topic across the industry, but are we really sure what it means? Alec Bruce, Solutions Manager, Hitachi Data Systems UK, explains what is currently possible and what resellers need to tell their customers about achieving true ILM.

Author:Bruce, Alec
Position:Storage Expo 2008 - Information Lifecycle Management

Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) has been hyped in the last few years and is often seen as a panacea for all business and IT challenges that can be implemented immediately.

The reality is different, as true ILM is still many years away. A SNIA survey found that one of the most common ways of losing information is not being able to interpret it properly--a problem ILM is intended to overcome. The key lies in the difference between information and data. Data is defined as the raw codes that make up any document or application. This data becomes information when it is put into context--its value and meaning can change depending on that context.

An IT system works with data. Information is a much more subjective concept--something that is simple for humans to understand but not easy for machines. Establishing rules and processes that govern business and IT operations based on the value of information is correspondingly complex.

DLM is the combination of solutions that helps CIOs and IT managers deliver data management services to any given application environment. This includes protecting data, moving it around, and presenting it to that environment--activities that are tightly connected with managing the different storage resource profiles.

Information cannot exist without the data that underpins it, so ILM relies on DLM processes to effectively fit in with the IT infrastructure while also addressing changing business priorities.

General management practices put in place around storage mean that many IT departments have deployed DLM at least partially. It has become wide-spread because it enables better alignment of data storage and management practices with key enterprise applications, helping to drive IT...

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