"Only two years ago, EMC formally launched the InfoArchive product and its been a rocket ship ever since, pushing the limits of what’s expected from an archiving solution, over and over again."
Jeroen van Rotterdam, CTO, ECD - EMC Corp.
Recently, EMC was named a Visionary in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Structured Data Archiving and Application Retirement.
As Gartner defines, structured data archiving is the ability to index, migrate and protect application data in secondary databases or flat files typically located on lower-cost storage for policy-based retention. It makes data available in context, and protects it in the event of litigation or an audit.
According to Gartner, EMC made the Magic Quadrant for its "demonstrated an ability to support use cases where unstructured and structured requirements converge. Buyers should consider InfoArchive if the organization has a need for a unified repository supporting multiple data types from multiple applications, and has strong retention management and reporting requirements. As the platform grows, EMC is planning on increasing scalability into the hundreds of PBs, and to emphasize a focus on key verticals and use cases, such as real-time analytics, financial services, life sciences and clinical archiving, and SAP ILM. In addition, EMC is taking steps to improve deployment times and reduce integration complexities."
EMC's strengths, as noted by Gartner, include tight integration with the EMC stack, including Centera, Isilon and ECS, offers EMC customers strong combined archiving, compliance and retention capabilities, InfoArchive's delivery of good reporting and user access to archived data and the fact that InfoArchive meets many government and industry standards - including nicely meeting legal and compliance needs.
What does structured archiving really address?
As Gartner defines, and for purposes of its Magic Quadrant scrutiny, structured data archiving addresses:
Storage optimization — It can reduce the volume of data in production applications and databases via compression and, more recently, copy data management and maintain seamless data access. The benefits of using this technology include reduced capital and operating expenditures, improved information governance, improved recoverability, lower risk of regulatory compliance violations, and access to secondary data for reporting and analysis.
Governance — The technology preserves data for compliance when retiring applications. Structured data is often transactional and related to financial accounts or back-office functions, or example, HR, patient enrollment in healthcare and other use cases that might be regulated) that require information governance, control and security, along with the ability to respond to related events such as audits, litigation and investigation. These and other requirements, such as maintaining information context, can prevent organizations from moving data to lower-cost tiers of storage, or adopting other do-it-yourself approaches. As part of their governance features, vendors offer varying degrees of retention management, ranging from broad purging capabilities to granular item deletion and integration with records management tools.
Cost optimization — Structured data archiving and application retirement can result in significant ROI. Structured data in legacy systems, ERP systems and databases accumulates over years, and, in some cases, over decades, driving up operational and capital expenses.
Data scalability — The technology can manage large volumes of data resulting from newer applications that can generate billions of small objects. Scalability to petabytes of capacity is required in these cases.
User access — Structured data archiving can enable access to "warm" and "cold data," meaning that use cases range from "nearline" archiving, where the archived data is viewed through the native application GUI — known as active archiving, as well as access to data from retired applications, often through SQL queries, reports and application GUI mockups.
Essentially, as Gartner defines it, structured data archiving is the ability to index, migrate and protect application data in secondary databases or flat files typically located on lower-cost storage for policy-based retention. It makes data available in context and protects it in the event of litigation or an audit.
Read Next: Under the Hood of InfoArchive 4.0
Being recognized as a leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Structured Data Archiving and Application Retirement is a great achievement for EMC, but, as EMC's Jeroen van Rotterdam, CTO, ECD at EMC, reports, the company is no where close to resting on its achievements.
In fact, EMC is putting great energy behind what it calls Extreme Archiving, which, according to EMC's Rotterdam, is focused on the following scenarios:
- Pushing the boundaries on scale: Enterprises today face rapid growth of both structured and unstructured data at petabyte scale. InfoArchive offers a compelling return on investment for most enterprises, while addressing scale challenges.
- Handling many of the most challenging compliance requirements: Regulatory compliance requirements are increasing and undergoing rapid change with new legislation. Organizations need an archive that supports both the scale and complexity of compliance requirements, and InfoArchive is a market leader in this area.
- Making archives “smart” data stores: By using popular analytics tools for both secure Hadoop processing and real-time analytics at the point of ingestion, InfoArchive enables new use cases, such as real-time fraud detection over structured and unstructured data.
Today, large enterprises that generate substantial and growing volumes of datafrom business applications must comply with a wide range of regulations, especially long-term data retention policies. Businesses today now risk fines, sanctions or reputational damage if data is not retained or secured. More and more, CIOs are mandating the reduction of the IT portfolio and overall IT spend, while organizations are feeling paralyzed and limited with aging legacy systems - and a dangerous lack of information governance and retention management.
According to EMC's Rotterdam in a recent EMC Pulse post, EMC's long-term strategy to not only become the leader of the leaders, but to explore new business opportunities with and for its customers; opportunities that will come out of large-scale centralized archives with a wide variety of information types. The combination of mining structured data across applications, and new text analytics tools for unstructured data, can be a powerful tool to turn archives into a valuable source for next generation applications.