EMC is building out a multi-tiered storage offer, based on disk of course, but offering cheaper ATA-based disk storage for particular applications. It has now done a deal with OuterBay, a US software developer, that enables it to integrate that company's Application Data Management (ADM) suite with its own Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) technologies. OuterBay has developed software to archive a database and store the archive on cheap ATA disks, still offering on-line access but at less cost than Symmetrix or other enterprise disk arrays.

The likelihood of the deal has been covered in Techworld recently.

The software constructs a so-called Live Archive for data that is 3-7 years old and an Encapsulated Archive for data that's 7-20 years or more old. This is stored as a single flat file complete with XML-based meta data. It can be accessed long after the application that generated it is gone and OuterBay's CEO, Michael Howard, said, "Encapsulated Archive is based on the notion that applications are temporary but data is permanent."

Live Archive data is accessed through the database production system whereas Encapsulated Archive data is accessed through XML queries. In either case access is at disk rather than tape speed. EMC has previously integrated LiveArchive with its Centre content-addressable storage device.

EMC says that this concept offers ILM-type storage for structured data and provides facilities to help customers comply with data storage regulations. Data can be automatically moved, using policy-based rules, from front line storage to secondary disk storage and then to archival disk storage, both of which are much cheaper than enterprise-class disk storage. Database storage needs can be better tracked and predicted.

EMC senior VP for ILM software, Mark Sorenson, said, "OuterBay will further EMC's ability to help organisations extract the maximum value for structured content environments at the lowest total cost, across every point in the information lifecycle."

Recent Techworld coverage of this area has included Network Appliance's purchase of Spinnaker Networks to provide ILM features in its offerings, also StorageTek's activities in this area.