Hitachi Data Systems took both the Information Management Innovation Award and the Overall Award for most votes received across all categories with its video submission on the Hitachi Content Archiving Platform (HCAP).
The key idea at the heart of HCAP is a logical distinction between the structure, management and control of archived materials from the underlying storage media in which they may be archived.
At the top of the HCAP system sits a software management layer, which creates a permanent association between the archived data and the relevant metadata, such as the retention timeline or the security policies governing access.
By preserving the link between data and metadata at the software management layer, HCAP allows the organisation to move data across storage media while preserving management policies.
This is a timely development for many reasons. Chief among these is perhaps the fact that as organisations accumulate ever more data relating to customers and employees, many are required to retain that data for ever increasing periods of time – 60 years in some cases.
Nobody can be certain of what storage media will be in use in the future, or whether storage will be outsourced to a third party or cloud computing provider. But separating out the management of the archive allows organisations to be confident that policies will remain in place whatever happens.
One customer to have already taken advantage of HCAP is financial services provider Skandia. The company is obliged by regulation to retain all email correspondence with customers for seven years. At the point of archival, the HCAP system ‘authenticates’ the email content by creating a unique identifier for each message. Skandia has the option of stipulating whether the data should be deleted automatically or manually at the end of the seven-year retention period.
Another trend reshaping the way organisations archive their data is storage virtualisation. This technology allows storage media from various suppliers and based on various technologies to be sewn together as a single storage fabric.
HCAP ties in with HDS’s Universal Storage Platform V, allowing organisations to manage archived materials across a virtualised storage environment. “Customers with heterogenous storage environments can use their current storage media by virtualising behind USPV and then taking advantage of HCAP,” says Lynn Collier, EMEA director for file and content solutions at HDS.
Runner-up – Optier
Optier’s business transaction management technology allows organisations to view and manage their IT infrastructure as a series of business transactions. This means they can address glitches that threaten business activity as and when they arise, and identify the bottlenecks within the infrastructure that constrain business performance.
Other award categories
Winner – Keysource
Runner-up – Digital Realty Trust
Winner – Digital Realty Trust
Runner-up – Telecity
Winner – Websense
Runner-up – Unity Enterprise Solutions
Winner – BravoSolution
Runner-up – Platform Computing