InfoArchive & SourceOne: EMC’s Two Archive Products

Prior to attending EMC World, I was aware EMC owned only one archive product: SourceOne. It is capable of handling the archiving and e-discovery needs of email and file systems. SourceOne was developed by EMC several years ago after learning the secrets from the acquisition of another product they eventually shut down. SourceOne appears to be a strong email and file system archiving product. My only complaint is it’s the only such product of which I am aware that does not write to tape. Since long term archive and storage is the only place where tape has a strong case to make, this seems like a missing feature to me.

Enter InfoArchive, a product I didn’t know about until visiting a session called How Lucasfilm and Disney protect their information to more effectively manage their business relationships. After I overcame my initial disappoint after realizing they weren’t going to talk about archiving actual media, I settled in to listen to the story of the migration of three different long term storage systems into something they call InfoArchive which, as it would turn out, is an EMC product.

InfoArchive is the eventual repository for the data, but they use a product called Flatirons to manage the process of ingesting the other systems and translating the data into a format digestible by InfoArchive. The LucasFilm representative spoke very highly of the overall process, and believes it significantly enhances access to this older data while also saving money.

InfoArchive had the name xDB when EMC acquired it from Blue Fish Development Group in 2009. (For what it’s worth, I think InfoArchive is a much better name.) EMC refers to InfoArchive as, “a unified enterprise archiving platform that stores related structured data and unstructured content in a single consolidated repository.“ I learned from the representatives that InfoArchive can handle just about any type of structured or unstructured data, and can store said data on any type of storage that one wants to use, including tape, optical, and the cloud.

I wonder, therefore, if this isn’t one of many examples where EMC could combine two products to create a single, stronger product. InfoArchive could relatively easily replace the storage components of SourceOne, giving it the tape, optical, and cloud benefits that I believe it needs. For those who want to do things other than what SourceOne does, the other front end to InfoArchive would remain.

StorageSwiss Take

Who knows what products Dell will consolidate when they finish their acquisition of EMC, but this one seems like a no brainer. You can keep both brands if you want, consolidate code, and add functionality to another product at the same time. It’s a win-win for everyone.

W. Curtis Preston (aka Mr. Backup) is an expert in backup & recovery systems; a space he has been working in since 1993. He has written three books on the subject, Backup & Recovery, Using SANs and NAS, and Unix Backup & Recovery. Mr. Preston is a writer and has spoken at hundreds of seminars and conferences around the world. Preston’s mission is to arm today’s IT managers with truly unbiased information about today’s storage industry and its products.

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