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Demands such as government compliance have made it even more challenging for customers to archive their data for a long time while making it readily available. Few could afford to spend a fortune on it. That's making a tiered storage approach viable for most companies.
EMC Corp. answered needs for unstructured data types such as graphics and video on Monday by bringing together technology from its Documentum content-management and Legato storage-management divisions. EMC Documentum Content Storage Services will let customers define and kick off the automation of content movement across storage architectures as its value changes. Without such automation, customers are either unable to retrieve information from low-cost tape or overpay for high-performance Fibre Channel hard-disk drives.
The Legato piece of the new software will let customers manage the unstructured data on any media.
An existing customer looks forward to the new software, which could allow it to service customers better than it can now. Corporate Express Inc., a leading office-supplies distributor, already helps customers by letting them access invoices off the Web site. Wayne Aiello, VP of eBusiness services, is excited about how content storage services could make the company more efficient in archiving the information on the right media. It has policies already that let it move information between media and off after seven years. "Some customers want us to archive their data differently, and we can't enter the attributes to make it happen," Aiello says. "We don't have the assurance we could do it correctly, so it would be a huge benefit to have the capability within Documentum.'
He says the high number of current projects prohibit a Corporate Express move to the software until after the first of the year.
One analyst says the software comes just in time to match changing archiving requirements. "Before, the data that was archived might as well have been dead, but now the government gives you two weeks to retrieve it," says Anne MacFarland, an analyst at Clipper Group. "EMC now makes it easier for customers to set up policies for dealing with the pain."