Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) is concerned with everything that happens to data during its lifetime. Although most organizations have long regarded their stores of data as one of their most valuable corporate assets, how this data was managed and maintained varies enormously. Originally, data was used to help achieve operational goals, run the business and help identify the future direction and success of the company. However new government regulations and guidelines, such as Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA, DOD5015.2-STD in the US and the European Data Privacy Directive in the European Union, are a key driving force in how and why data is being retained, as they are now requiring organizations to retain and control information for very long periods of time.
Information today comes in a wide variety of types, for example it could be an email message, a photograph or an order in an Online Transaction Processing System. The challenge now before all organizations, is to understand how their data evolves, determine how it grows, monitor how its usage changes over time, and decide how long it should survive
Today there are two additional objectives IT managers are trying to satisfy: to store vast quantities of data, for the lowest possible cost; and to meet the new regulatory requirements for data retention and protection.
Oracle Database 11g is Ready for Business ILM
Oracle Database 11g is ready today for Business ILM. It is capable of storing many different types of data, and storing all of your data in an Oracle database, means that it is much easier to manage, because the data is all in one place, instead of being stored using many different formats. Thus the Oracle database is the ideal platform to implement an Information Lifecycle Management policy, because it has a number of unique features, which makes it very easy to implement an ILM solution:
Fine-grained: managing data at individual row level
Application Transparency; data classification is transparent
Low-Cost: uses low cost storage to reduce costs
Enforceable Compliance Policies
Implement ILM in 4 Easy Steps
ILM can be implemented using Oracle Database 11g by following these three simple steps:
Define the Data Classes
Create Storage Tiers for the Data Classes
Create Data Access and Migration Policies
Define and Enforce Compliance Policies
Data can be classified in a variety of ways, such as on frequency of usage, and then storage tiers can be created for the data classes that have been identified. During the lifetime of the data, it will then migrate between the data classes and access to it will be controlled. Eventually the data may be archived or it could remain inside the database forever.
Oracle ILM Assistant
The Oracle ILM Assistant is a GUI based tool for managing your ILM environment. It provides the ability to create lifecycle definitions, which are assigned to tables in the database. Then based on the lifecycle policy, the ILM Assistant advises when it is time to move, archive or delete data. It will also illustrate the storage requirements and cost savings associated with moving the data. Other capabilities include the ability to show how to partition a table based on a lifecycle definition and to simulate the events on a table if it were partitioned.
To assist with managing compliance issues, the ILM Assistant will show all VPD and FGA policies that have been defined. It can also display and query all the audit records and generate and compare digital signatures.
The Oracle ILM Assistant requires Oracle Database 9i or greater and that Oracle Application Express (formerly HTML Db) must be installed in the database where the tables to be managed by the ILM Assistant reside. Initially, only tables partitioned on a date are eligible and the ILM Assistant does not make any physical changes to the database, instead it generates scripts so that you can perform the tasks when you are ready.
Oracle Database 11g is ideal for implementing ILM because it is simple to use since there are no specialized data stores to manage and it operates independent of any hardware. It has proven fast performance, therefore all information can be quickly retrieved. The security features in the database ensure that data is secure from unauthorized access and data is always transactionally consistent. The Oracle Database provides total flexibility, therefore it can rapidly adapt to any change in requirements, which is extremely important due to the continuing evolution of the emerging regulations.
Using Oracle Database 11g, a comprehensive ILM solution can be implemented for the lowest possible cost.