August 7, 2014

New Gartner Magic Quadrant Exposes New Ways to Optimise Archival Storage

Recently Gartner, the global information technology research and advisory firm, produced a new “Magic Quadrant for Structured Data Archiving and Application Retirement”. This Magic Quadrant identifies a new market segment for solutions that deals with ageing applications and data they contain. As Gartner says “Structured data archiving applications help retire legacy applications, reduce costs, and meet governance and compliance requirements.”

Gartner’s report is a great place to learn about the trends and technologies involved in structured data archiving and application retirement. It also highlights some of the vendor offerings that are becoming increasingly important to this field.

At CrawfordTech we have been working with EMC for some time on their new InfoArchive platform and we have seen many of the trends Gartner identify in their report. Info Archive is unusual that its architecture is a hybrid of both current generation technology (derived from the Documentum platform) and next generation XML database technology (in the form of H-Hive). What EMC have cleverly done is fuse these together to create something that provides overall storage optimisation for structured data.

InfoArchive does this by taking structured data and archiving into packages that are essentially mini XML databases with all the benefits that that gives for storage compressions and fast retrieval. So the reality is that with InfoArchive you can store massive volumes of data – literally we are seeing billions of objects stored in this way – whilst keeping the storage footprint small. As Gartner comments structured data archiving “…can reduce the volume of data in production and maintain seamless data access. The benefits of using this technology include reduced capital and operating expenditures, improved information governance, lower risk, and access to secondary data for reporting and analysis.” EMC InfoArchive proves this point.

At CrawfordTech we have gone one step further with EMC InfoArchive and said, “well if it can store data, why can’t we store content in it as well?” (CrawfordTech specialise in high volume print stream archiving for EMC Documentum and IBM CMOD platforms). Using CrawfordTech’s PRO Archiver toolset we have enabled InfoArchive for high volume print stream archiving giving many of the storage benefits that come from high volume structured data archives to print archives. One powerful combination is the use of PDF and PDF/A with InfoArchive – compression of native formats can reduce file sized by between 50%-70%, which means major savings when dealing with hundreds of terabytes of content.

The Structured Data Archiving and Application Retirement market identified by Gartner is important. In partnership with EMC we have found a secret sauce to make the benefits of this kind of archiving accessible for high volume print stream archiving as well.

To read more about CrawfordTech’s print stream archiving solutions for EMC InfoArchive please click here. Continue to check out our blog posts for the next blog in the "InfoArchive" series.