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Oracle today makes its Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) Assistant available for free download.

ILM Assistant is Oracle database-specific and will help database administrators (DBAs) plan and automate storage of data in email, content management systems and corporate applications. Previously, DBAs had to implement policies manually.

It will also enable customers to implement an ILM strategy using servers and devices costing maybe a fifth of specialized, high-performance units. Willie Hardie, Oracle vice president of database product marketing, said Oracle's ILM strategy is based on clustered x86 servers: "Look at Oracle's grid strategy - scaling out servers and low-cost servers. The same principle applies at the storage tier," he said.

The assistant allows DBAs to set rules and policies for data archival, advises when it's time to store or remove data, and uses partitioning in the Oracle database to move data between different storage tiers to help speed up access to data. Partitioning speeds access because it avoids searching using a mass of routines. "The data is moved independently of the applications. The end-user isn't concerned where the data is housed," Hardie said.

ILM is the latest buzzword for systems and storage companies aiminf ro to ride the perfect storm of ever-increasing regulatory demands and the explosion in data. Regulatory compliance requires organizations to archive more of their data, to build a record of their activities, and also to record individuals' access to information. According to Steve Mills, IBM's software boss (when pitching his company's information on demand strategy last week), the volume of data created and stored would double every eleven hours by 2010. ®

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