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By Douglas J. Vargo, VP-Information Management, Paragon Solutions
The exponential increase of information and growing number of systems today's organizations must contend with, has caused application, maintenance, and support costs to spiral out of control. Organizations need to manage mass quantities of information, which can be in the form of unstructured content, structured data, or a combination of the two. This puts an extreme amount of pressure on IT organizations to determine the best approach to identify and manage this enterprise information, as well as establish an enterprise IT strategy and technology that addresses archiving.
EMC has recognized that organizations need to gain control and governance of their IT portfolios and establish a solid archiving strategy with an optimized IT infrastructure to manage this content and ensure that information is accessible, actionable, and improves information governance. Through the release of InfoArchive, EMC allows organizations to address this issue by enabling legacy applications to be shut down and decommissioned, or to practice active archiving-- the periodic archiving of data and content--from production business applications to remove data bloat. In addition to saving on storage costs, organizations have recognized that a solid archiving strategy and technology can reduce costs associated with backup, systems administration, and server and database licensing. Having the EMC InfoArchive solution in place also helps organizations to ensure long-term preservation and retention management, improve application performance, enable business reporting, and support audit or data retention regulations and eDiscovery obligations. The InfoArchive solution combines technology from across EMC to create a next generation archive. The core application can be deployed using RSA technology for data encryption to secure and protect access to data. It offers a range of low cost, compliant storage options from EMC's Backup Recovery Systems division and archiving products including Data Domain, Isilon, Atmos, and Centera.
Steve Duplessie, Sr. Analyst with ESG, wrote in his white paper Elevating Archiving's Business Status, "Too often, archives are tactically put in place to solve a specific issue (e.g., retaining email, moving file data to lower-cost storage, etc.) and are never looked at again, unless they create an operational issue or have to be upgraded. Very rarely do IT and business leaders think about what else an archive can provide or how to functionally improve the system. This has to change."
The need for change is starting to surface. CIOs are recognizing the importance of archiving by including an archive strategy in their overall information management vision and strategy.
“The InfoArchive solution combines technology from across EMC to create a next generation archive”
A proper archive solution enables large volumes of business information to be stored and managed in a single repository to ensure long-term preservation and retention management. EMC’s InfoArchive can ingest and manage structured data and unstructured content in a single, unified archive, providing a holistic view of information. InfoArchive is based on the Open Archival Information System (or OAIS) ISO standard for archiving that focuses on the long term, digital preservation (through open XML format) and retention management of information.
Organizations today are consolidating applications, moving applications to the cloud, adapting to mobility and becoming more data-centric. As a result, enterprises are rationalizing applications and retiring them. They must be smart about how they evaluate, store, migrate, retain and ultimately dispose of the data while staying compliant. The following are a few key benefits organizations are experiencing by including applications such as InfoArchive in their information management vision:
A typical IT environment contains legacy systems comprised of applications and data that have been superseded by new solutions, or inherited as a result of business mergers or acquisition. Such applications are of low value to the business, but they must be maintained and supported to ensure access to the data they hold which is often required to meet compliance regulations and support reporting, audit or legacy discovery. These applications are often no longer supported by the vendor or are on legacy infrastructure and require specialized knowledge to maintain. As a result, they are expensive to retain and may represent a risk to the organization. Organizations often struggle with decommissioning these applications after their business use, which creates a tremendous amount of redundancy across the enterprise. EMC's InfoArchive solution allows these legacy applications to be shut-down and decommissioned, which saves the costs associated with supporting and maintaining them. Archived information remains accessible, ensuring support for business reporting, auditing or data retention policies. By implementing InfoArchive and a solid governance strategy, organizations are realizing a significant reduction in their IT portfolios and thereby a significant cost reduction in enterprise IT budgets.
Active System Archiving
The periodic archiving of data and content from production business applications can reduce the costs of the production environments, enable compliant data retention, and improve application performance. In addition to the savings on storage costs, reductions in costs for backup, system administration, and server and database licensing can also be achieved.
Many existing systems and archives do not provide the features and functions required to meet an organization's information governance policies for retention management, disposition and legal hold. By combining EMC's technologies for compliance, governance and storage, the InfoArchive solution preserves the value of enterprise information, satisfies retention policies, ensures regulatory compliance, and provides controlled access to authorized users. Additionally, it addresses other compliance issues such as data immutability and encryption, and enhances find-ability by minimizing information silos.
Today's organizations are looking to gain every advantage; therefore the ability to obtain insights into their business data is valuable. Although an archive's primary functions are to provide long-term preservation and to meet compliance objectives, organizations are also looking to make an archive a data source for analytics.
EMC is in a unique positon to be able to provide this value back to its customers, by continuing to combine technologies. By leveraging their leading analytics applications Pivotal and Greenplum, EMC has the opportunity to make InfoArchive a data source in the future and could potentially bring customers to new levels of business productivity and transformation.
EMC has recognized that the exponential growth of information is overwhelming organizations. Through InfoArchive, organizations can start managing this growth in a complaint fashion while maintaining information governance. The InfoArchive solution provides a way to address the challenges of both IT application portfolio optimization and data governance. IT executives are starting to take notice, and more are including a comprehensive archiving strategy and associated technologies into their information management vision. These organizations are gaining a significant advantage relative to their peers, while dramatically reducing IT budgets. But most importantly, EMC's InfoArchive solution is providing organizations with a long-term, digital preservation platform with retention management capabilities that support their fundamental information.