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Oracle announced Feb. 26 the general availability of Oracle Information Lifecycle Management Assistant, a free tool company officials contend will help users of Oracle Database 10g store and manage data in a more cost-efficient manner.

“The reality is today organizations can no longer afford to use high-end storage for all the data in storage,” said Willie Hardie, vice president of database product marketing at Oracle, in an interview with eWEEK.

A recent study of members of the IOUG (Independent Oracle User Group) found 92 percent of respondents expect their database storage needs to increase in 2007.

To meet this growth, 64 percent said they will increase their spending on storage, according to the report, which was produced by Unisphere Research. By implementing an ILM strategy, customers can cut storage costs by keeping a minimum amount of data on high-cost storage devices, Hardie said.

In addition, Oracle ILM Assistant allows users to define life cycles—when it is time to move or purge data—allowing for the maximum quantity of data to be retained at the lowest cost.

“Oracle’s ILM Assistant will help users better manage data by automatically putting the right types of data on the right tiers of storage,” said Ari Kaplan, president of the IOUG. “With the price of high-performance disk being five to 10 times that of low-performance disk, a company that implements the ILM paradigm can save significant money in storage costs alone without affecting the customer experience.”

Click here to read more about Oracle’s TimesTen database.

“From a data lifecycle perspective, archiving infrequently used data to offline media while ensuring data specifically needed for compliancy never gets permanently deleted is very beneficial for business operations,” he said.

In addition, Oracle ILM Assistant features simulated table partitioning, storage cost modeling and reports on security and compliance features in use.

Oracle’s query optimization technology avoids referencing partitions containing data not required to process application queries, company officials said.

As a result, performance does not degrade as the database expands, company officials said. Oracle Database 10g also features table compression technology designed to help further lower storage costs.

“The big technical advantage Oracle ILM Assistant provides is an easy-to-use interface to classify data, classify storage tiers, tie them together, and provide the underlying technology such as partitions and triggers to implement these business rules,” Kaplan said. “Companies with more tables, more classes of data, and more tiers of storage will see more technology manageability benefits.”

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