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Posted by Stephanie Balaouras on October 7, 2009
Yesterday IBM announced the availability of their new IBM Information Archive Appliance. The appliance replaces IBM’s DR550. The new appliance has significantly increased scale and performance because it’s built on IBM’s Global Parallel File System (GPFS), more interfaces (NAS and an API to Tivoli Storage Manager) and accepts information from multiple sources – IBM content management and archiving software and eventually 3rd party software. Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) is embedded in the appliance to provide automated tiered disk and tape storage as well as block-level deduplication. TSM’s block-level deduplication will reduce storage capacity requirements and its disk and tape management capabilities will let IT continue to leverage tape for long-term data retention. All these appliance subcomponents are transparent to the IT end user who manages the appliance – he or she just sees one console where they define collections and retention policies for those collections.
It’s a solid (albeit a few years late) announcement from IBM. As a leader in content management and archiving software, it was always puzzling that IBM lacked an attractive archive storage platform to complement these offerings. In addition, archiving is still a priority for both the business and IT. Business leaders remain concerned with archiving data appropriately for regulatory compliance and legal discovery. IT struggles to keep up with storage growth which continues to grow at 30%-40% each year and to control storage costs. IT has always wanted to archive infrequently accessed data from expensive production storage platforms to less expensive archive disk and tape but their hands are tied unless business owners, legal and knowledge management professionals define appropriate retention policies as well as their functional requirements in a solution.
Which leads to a question that I’ve always struggled with myself? What is the role of the IT operations professional in archiving? It’s clear that IT operations professionals are not responsible for defining the actual retention policies but what are IT’s responsibilities and how can IT influence business owners, legal, internal auditors and knowledge management? I’m still fleshing out the list responsibilities but here’s what I have so far:
This is just a starting list. I’m interested to hear from other IT ops professionals if I’ve missed something or if you disagree with anything on my current list. I’m also interested to hear the struggles you have with archiving.
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