Oracle Ships Free Information Lifecycle Management Tool

The ILM Assistant for the Oracle Database versions 9.2 and 10g automates information management tasks that customers previously had to perform manually, Willie Hardie, VP of database product marketing, said. "We're basically giving them a tool that will help them design an implement an ILM strategy."

Tools that enable ILM are becoming focal points of database software vendors such as Oracle, IBM, and Microsoft. The term refers to a comprehensive storage management program within an enterprise. The practice requires that all data entered into the system has been assigned a type or category based on access rules, retention requirements, and business practices.

To avoid storing all data on a high-priced storage device, Oracle said its ILM Assistant helps companies in moving information accessed infrequently to lower-priced hardware for long-term storage. Such information is often kept for regulatory or legal reasons.

The new tool includes a graphical user interface for configuring the software, so it can find information not often used and offer to move it to another device, Hardie said. Once configured, the software can also suggest how to partition data tables to better manage information.

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The ILM Assistant will save an IT department time in moving information around a data center, and also reduce costs by making more efficient use of higher-priced, transaction-oriented devices by not using them for long-term storage, Hardie said.

The new tool was available as of Monday at no charge to all Oracle Database Enterprise Edition users. It is downloadable through the Oracle Technology Network.

Earlier this month, Oracle launched an upgrade of its standalone search engine for the 10g database, adding support for third-party identity management directories in order to tap into a company's existing security rules.