StorageTek takes another step in the life cycle

The tape library giant has announced a data life cycle management product for IBM DB2 database users

Hoping to bring more life to information life cycle management (ILM), Louisville, Colo.-based Storage Technology Corporation (StorageTek) will announce its Lifecycle Director software, an archiving product for IBM mainframe databases, next week at the SHARE Conference in New York City.

According to StorageTek, Lifecycle Director allows DB2 administrators to reduce costs by moving inactive data from expensive disk to lower-cost storage, thereby freeing up space and cutting down maintenance windows. It also facilitates compliance regulations by moving data to disk or tape based on data retention policies.

EMC Corp., Outerbay Technologies Inc. and Princeton Softech offer similar services, but according to Ted Battreall, StorageTek's Database Archiving Product Marketing Manager, what sets Lifecycle Director apart is that it can be implemented with minimal effort and can eliminate the need to manually change the code on data when moving it.

Battreall also pointed out two common but unsuccessful approaches to archiving that Lifecycle Director will help users avoid: archiving data using backup tools and buying more disks.

Also, by focusing on the mainframe market, StorageTek plans to create order in a market where databases are growing out of control. "Given the maturity of the mainframe market, data growth is clearly a problem, which generates more need for database management solutions." Battreall said.

StorageTek does offer open systems database archival today through vendor partnerships with Princeton Softech and Ixos and is exploring porting Lifecycle Director to open systems. But DB2 databases remain the priority, and this should be enough to keep StorageTek busy, according to Charlie Garry, senior program director at Stamford, Conn.-based Meta Group Inc., a provider of IT research, advisory services and strategic consulting.

"The mainframe is an underserved market as far as archiving. It has the most data, and with that, the most problems," Garry said.

And although databases are just part of an ILM plan, their performance is crucial, he added. "You have to make databases smaller for them to perform well …To me, database archiving is the one true area of ILM where there's an immediate cost benefit from doing it."

StorageTek's news follows a spate of announcements in this area. Princeton Softech just inked a deal with BMC Software Inc to integrate its policy-based archiving software with BMC's SmartDBA performance management software. As well as tracking the general performance of databases, BMC's tool will now be able to move data according to archiving policies set by Princeton Softech.

Outerbay has signed a reseller in Japan and will announce next week that Motorola is using its Application Data Management (ADM) software to manage data growth in its Oracle E-Business applications.

And last but not least, EMC has made strides with Documentum to manage the flow of data across different tiers of storage.

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