HP delivers all-in-one archive and retrieval solution based on industry-first storage Grid architecture

Munich 05 May 2004HP has made available an all-in-one archive and retrieval solution for storing, indexing and rapidly retrieving reference information. The HP StorageWorks Reference Information Storage System (RISS) is a high-performance solution that simplifies long-term data management, reduces costs and addresses growing regulatory and retention requirements. It is also HP's first system based on an innovative "storage Grid" architecture that will enable information services delivery and adapt to changing business needs.


Combining innovative hardware and software based in part on HP's recent acquisition of Persist Technologies, HP StorageWorks RISS is part of HP's information lifecycle management (ILM) portfolio. HP also unveiled several new ILM services and expanded its ILM partner programme to accelerate and broaden delivery of ILM solutions based on the HP StorageWorks family. The new partners include ADIC, CaminoSoft, Grau Data Storage, Orchestria, Pegasus Disk Technologies and Princeton Softech.

"Based on government regulations, our disaster recovery and back-up policies must ensure accessibility to a patient's electronic records", stated Bohnne Jones, information technology director, Pekin Hospital. "Working with HP Services to implement an ILM strategy based on our specific business and regulatory requirements, we established a redundant back-up environment utilizing HP storage area networking technologies, that greatly improves our ability to satisfy compliance regulations."

In industries such as financial services and health care, information managers are concerned with driving down the cost and complexity of long-term data storage, meeting business and regulatory requirements for data retention, and finding ways to unlock the value of stored information. The HP StorageWorks RISS solution meets these demands by offering an all-in-one solution for storing, indexing and rapidly retrieving reference information.

Unlike competing offerings that require integration of numerous hardware and software components by the customer or a third-party, RISS is pre-integrated with partner technologies and includes support and services to deliver a complete ILM solution for active archiving and rapid retrieval of e-mail and other common data types.

HP StorageWorks RISS is the first HP solution to use an innovative, standards-based "storage Grid" architecture. This enables storage services such as archival and retrieval today, as well as other capabilities to be introduced later, to be delivered across a massively scalable, centrally managed system.

"Reference information is inherently difficult to manage and growing exponentially with new and stringent government and industry regulations", stated Nancy Marrone-Hurley, senior analyst, Enterprise Storage Group. "Information lifecycle management solutions have emerged as a combination of products and services designed to help companies meet their data retention and regulatory requirements, while managing costs and maintaining service levels. With the all-in-one RISS solution and integrated service offerings, HP is helping companies achieve these goals while executing against its ILM strategy and roadmap."

The HP StorageWorks RISS solution is an open, integrated and scalable archiving appliance complete with HP's RISS design and integration services. The architecture is extensible to many applications, with the future delivery of a software development kit for RISS that takes advantage of open standards for rapid integration with today's enterprise applications and data types. The services provide hardware and software design, retention policy and business rules consulting, integration into the customer's existing messaging environment, and legacy document import capabilities.

RISS support services are bundled for the first year and include next-day hardware support, phone software support and a license to use. Optional support services are also available to meet individual business needs. The storage Grid architecture the RISS solution is built on divides storage, indexing, search and retrieval tasks across a distinct set of computing nodes, or storage "smart cells". Each storage smart cell is composed of a low-cost, high-density computing device and onboard storage. The storage smart cells are completely self-contained with a dedicated processor, search engine, database, index and management layer.

This evolutionary architecture is consistent with the HP Adaptive Enterprise vision that includes standardized, modular and centrally managed storage building blocks to enable storage delivery according to service levels. The design simplifies data management by providing a single system image and massive scalability without reducing performance or introducing additional risk of data loss or corruption.

Enabled by its high-performance architecture, the RISS solution helps transform information from a cost into an asset by providing application-aware, content-based indexing with powerful search tools for rapid information discovery and access. The solution also digitally signs and time stamps data to protect against tampering or deletion. This helps to ensure rapid, simplified and secure active-archiving and retrieval of reference information on a large scale from e-mail applications, Microsoft Office documents and other common data types.

Additionally, application server availability and performance can be dramatically improved by off-loading static, less relevant data such as Microsoft Exchange messages from the primary storage systems to the RISS solution. In addition, unlike archiving solutions that search content indirectly via an external database tied to an external archiving application, the RISS solution's storage smart cells use onboard disks to store reference-documented data, indexes and meta-data. This allows data to be searched and retrieved within seconds regardless of how much total capacity is stored in the archive or the application from which the information was derived.

"Replicating, protecting and archiving data is the easy part of long-term retention of unstructured data, and many vendors including HP do that today", stated Bob Schultz, senior vice president and general manager, Network Storage Solutions, HP. "However, customers tell us they are focused on the rapid and secure retrieval of large volumes of reference information in order to meet business and regulatory requirements. Delivered across a high-performance, Grid-like architecture, the HP StorageWorks RISS solution is the first turnkey system built from the ground up for active archive, search and retrieval."

"In The Netherlands, new government regulations call for the mandatory catalogueing and archiving of all broadcast content, so we deployed a system to efficiently track and store data over its lifetime", stated Marcel Opsteegh, lead consultant DDV, NOB Cross Media Facilities. "The HP and ADIC collaboration delivers a compete information lifecycle management solution comprised of HP ProLiant servers, the HP StorageWorks Enterprise Virtual Array 5000 and ADIC's StorNext Management Suite, that gives us the highest level of performance, accessibility and management."

HP introduced new services and partners that expand its ILM capabilities to meet a variety of business needs. The following ILM-related services and support help customers properly analyse information assets and data retention requirements in order to establish business processes that enable better control and intelligent management of data for maximum cost-efficiency and protection:

  • ILM Business Requirements Analysis, including: assessment of data policies across multiple data types and applications; education on electronic record archiving requirements and regulatory compliance; and review of policy documents and other documentation.
  • Electronic Vaulting Services, including: design, implementation and management service for disk-to-disk back-up at a customer site and/or secure HP host site; protection of large amounts of data; configuration of solution to match customers' changing business requirements; support for multiple operating systems, multi-vendor systems and databases; support for comprehensive business continuity plans and processes; and IT Service Management (ITSM) processes and trained staff to assure business continuance in case of disaster.

HP's ILM partner technologies help to deliver complete ILM solutions across key vertical industries. New and existing ILM partners with HP StorageWorks solutions address archival of data from e-mail, database, and enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications, and hierarchal storage management (HSM) solutions to manage rich media content and other application data across disk, tape and optical.

HP's new ILM partners include:

  • ADIC for rich media
  • CaminoSoft, Grau Data Storage and Pegasus Disk Technologies for HSM
  • Orchestria for e-mail policy management
  • Princeton Softech for ERP and database archiving
The HP StorageWorks RISS solution and ILM-related services and partner solutions are available today.

Leslie Versweyveld

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