Information lifecycle defines the changing value of information over a period of time. The value of information varies with time as the information that is valuable today may not be equally important tomorrow. Or the information that is of no use today may become more important tomorrow.
Today we will discuss about the entire lifecycle of the information right from the point it is created and to the point, it is disposed of to create more space for new data.
What is Information Lifecycle?
The information lifecycle describes the importance of information from the moment it is generated till the moment it is disposed of. When the information is generated its value is very much high at that moment and the information is used frequently.
As the days pass the value of the information gets degraded over time, it is rarely accessed and tends to be less important for the company. Well, on realizing the importance of information in its lifecycle you can deploy appropriate storage infrastructure.
Let us understand this with the help of an example. Consider a company that has a sales order application that manages the number of orders placed and the warranty period of the product sold.
The value of information is most important when the order is received and its importance decreases with time until the warty of the ordered product becomes void. The moment order is received the information is most important.
Then the company processes the order and delivers it and after that, the customer or order detail information is not important and can be transferred to the less expensive secondary storage which has lower accessibility.
Information Lifecycle Management
As we have discussed the importance of the information over time. It is also important to manage the information. Though data center stores protect and make data available 24×7. But an effective information management policy must be to support the data center and leverage its benefits.
Information lifecycle management (ILM) is a management policy that manages the information throughout its lifecycle. The ILM policy includes the following characteristics.
Business Centric: The ILM strategy must be business-centric, so it must be integrated with all the key processes of business, applications used for the business, and the initiative taken for the businesses.
Centrally Managed: All the information of the business must be under the influence of ILM strategy.
Policy Based: The ILM policy must be for all the departments of business, including all the processes, resources, and applications.
Heterogeneous: The ILM strategy must consider all kinds of storage platforms and operating systems.
To implement the ILM strategy we have to undergo four activities as described below:
- Initially classify the data and application on the basis of rules of business so that they can be provided different treatment based on their importance.
- Use information management tools to implement the policies right from the creation of data till the data is disposed of.
- Managing the data center infrastructure using integrated tools.
- Organize the data storage in different tiers so that the information is stored in the right type of storage infrastructure based on the current value of the information.
Benefits of ILM
Implementation of ILM strategy on the business information over its lifetime has some following key benefits that are discussed below.
- The tired storage platforms help in improving the utilization of the storage platforms and even it improves the visibility of all the information stored.
- The ILM strategy simplifies the management of all enterprise information by integrating the key process, application, and business initiatives.
- ILM provides a wide range of recovery options which is indeed helpful for business continuity.
- Simplifies the maintenance by analyzing what data has to be protected and when it has to be protected.
- ILM aligns the infrastructure cost and the management cost with the information value. This prevents wasting resources and even decreases complexity which results in lowering the total cost of ownership.
In this context, we have emphasized on the ILM strategy, its importance, its implementation, and its benefits. ILM leverages businesses to gain a competitive advantage by classifying the information and protecting it.