IBM is to introduce new software that Big Blue claims will allow businesses to better manage the growth of information by integrating data warehousing and archiving capabilities in a single offering.

However, the new InfoSphere Warehouse with Optim data retention will only be made available at the end of the first quarter.

InfoSphere Warehouse is based on DB2 database software, and the offering is combined with Princeton Softech's Optim data retention software. Big Blue acquired Princeton Softech last August in order to add data archiving, classification and discovery products to its own data management suite.

IBM says InfoSphere Warehouse with Optim data retention allows customers to more efficiently manage large amounts of data, and it claims it is the first with a single offering that delivers policy-based data lifecycle management - reducing storage and data retrieval costs and improving performance.

It does this by allowing businesses to only query relevant information. Old data can be archived off, but can be returned to the warehouse if needed. This ability to archive off unnecessary data allows the customer to better control and manage the size of their data warehouse says IBM. Audit and e-discovery requests can be handled in a timely manner, thereby lowering the cost of compliance.

"As your data warehouse grows, it impacts on storage costs and the performance of applications as they have more data to process," said Bernie Spang, director, IBM Data Servers. "Data that is ten years old is not as relevant as last week's data."

"However, because of data retention policies etc, it means that this information has to be kept," he told Techworld. "This offering allows customers to archive old data, and trim down the warehouse to contain the most relevant information. It allows them to move the old data to cheaper storage."

InfoSphere Warehouse with Optim data retention can be used across Linux, Windows and Unix-based platforms.

"Our clients are achieving significant competitive advantage by capturing insight from massive amounts of information collected during business transactions every day," said Arvind Krishna, vice president, IBM Database Software in a statement. "This ever growing volume of information has a life span - and eventually an end-point. Managing information across its life span through archiving and retention is the value InfoSphere Warehouse brings to our clients."

InfoSphere Warehouse with Optim data retention will be available in March, but pricing information is not available yet.

Last week, IBM announced the availability of the IBM InfoSphere Master Data Management (MDM) Server (new software that allows businesses to centrally manage customer, product, and account data for use enterprise-wide.)