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Extreme Archiving

Yesterday we announced InfoArchive 4.0 , and as you might have seen in Rohit Ghai’s keynote at Momentum at EMC World , we introduced the term Extreme Archiving. With Extreme Archiving we mean the following important aspects and design criteria for an enterprise information archive for both structured and unstructured data:

Extreme Scale

Data volumes within in the enterprise are exploding, and managing this type of volume leads to many challenges. Large enterprises can easily have tens of petabytes of Extreme Archiving unstructured data and hundreds of billions of transactions that they need to retain for long periods of time due to increasingly strict regulations. In Financial Services, retention periods vary between seven and twelve years, depending on the country and data type, while in industries such as healthcare and the defense industry, this can easily go up to 100 years.  

Extremely Small

Although somewhat counter intuitive due to the previous point, the (cost) footprint of an archive solution is important. As you may have seen in the keynote, InfoArchive can scale up but it can also scale down and can even runs on a 35 USD Raspberry Pi with 1 GB of memory. The lightweight architecture is becoming increasingly important as new privacy laws force global enterprises to setup highly distributed archiving with geo-fencing of the data in specific countries. Where you could have a global archive in the past with only three server locations (e.g. Americas, EMEA and APJ) customers are now faced with thefact that they need a lot of instances in different countries. The cost of managing such a global archive goes up significantly, unless your system is lightweight and easy to deploy, with the ability to handle elastic scaling.

Extremely Smart

More and more customers are discovering the untapped potential of their historical data. With new analytics tools and machine learning capabilities, you can discover hidden gems in your archive. However, traditional Hadoop-based archives are exposing data, but don’t offer compliance controls over the data. Extreme Archives not only manage complex compliance requirements but offer the ability to give business users and data scientists access in a controlled and compliant way. Not only do we see a growing need for analytics over historical data, we also see a need to give 360 views over all data to end-users, which significantly changes the access load on your archive. Smart archives are able to scale dynamically when access patterns change over time.

Beyond the “extreme” aspects of InfoArchive 4.0, here are my favorite new InfoArchive 4.0 features:

1. “Extreme archiving” that Scales Horizontally

InfoArchive 4.0 is designed around a scale-out cluster architecture. Every component in the architecture scales horizontally from the storage layer, the database layer, the InfoArchive server layer and the web access layer. This allows us to offer a single archive for all data in the enterprise, eliminating costly archive silos. Large financial institutes need to manage extreme amounts of structured and unstructured data – hundreds of billions of emails; hundreds of billions of transactions; all social media and communications content created by their employees; and billions of documents – in a cost effective way. With InfoArchive, we can scale at the point of ingestion, the point of management and the point of access to the data.

2. Configurable User Interface

Customers are now storing hundreds of different information types in InfoArchive from many different source applications. With InfoArchive 4.0, we are introducing a context-aware user interface that adjusts based on your role. We also allow customers to quickly configure a discovery interface, using an intuitive drag-and-drop capability, right from the browser.

3. In-Place Compliance Capabilities

Once data and content has been ingested into InfoArchive, retention and other regulatory compliance policies can be enacted. With compliance built into InfoArchive, there is no need to copy the data to another repository or re-feed the data when compliance rules change. InfoArchive offers a wide range of compliance controls such as retention policies, event-based retention, legal holds, PCI compliance, masking, tokenization, chain of custody and full audit logs. InfoArchive 4.0 is now offering retention and hold policies at the record level. With in-place compliance, customers are not only managing today’s compliance requirements efficiently, they are also prepared for the future.

4. SAP Support

We are not only releasing a new version of the InfoArchive platform, we are also releasing a new solution for SAP archiving scenarios. InfoArchive for SAP not only allows you to optimize your existing SAP environment, it also allows you to accelerate a migration to SAP HANA with the ability to decommission older versions of SAP. This new solution is a great addition to our portfolio of solutions, including our Clinical Archiving solution and a growing portfolio of partner solutions.

I’m very excited about the additional value InfoArchive 4.0 will provide to our customers when it becomes generally available on June 13, 2016.

Which InfoArchive features will benefit your organization the most?

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