Motorola uses ILM tools to control database growth

Motorola Inc. this week said it has completed the second of four phases in a planned companywide rollout of information life-cycle management (ILM) software that has cut the size of production databases by as much as 50 per cent in some business units.

The database reductions are enabling Motorola to stave off additional server and storage purchases as the company consolidates its hardware infrastructure by moving systems from remote locations to a data center in Chicago, said Bill Brewer, global IT configuration manager at Motorola’s Personal Communications Sector (PCS) business unit.

The ILM rollout should also help Motorola better meet the financial reporting requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act by keeping data online and easily accessible without eating up space on application servers, according to Brewer.

He declined to disclose the cost of the project, other than to say that it’s a multimillion-dollar initiative.

Schaumburg, Ill.-based Motorola is using OuterBay Technologies Inc.’s Application Data Management software to manage data growth in ERP systems built around Oracle Corp.’s databases and E-Business Suite applications, Brewer said. Historical customer account information is automatically migrated from production databases running on Sun servers to EMC Corp.’s Symmetrix disk arrays.

“As Oracle applications mature, you use more disk space…so you will be taxing your database at a higher level,” Brewer said. “There’s only so much tuning you can do. So it’s either rip the data out or do something else.”

Motorola has set the ILM software’s policy engine to migrate data that hasn’t been accessed by end users for 15 months. The PCS business unit initially rolled out Cupertino, Calif.-based OuterBay’s software in its China operations in 2001 and was able to cut database sizes in half there.

The company completed the North America rollout of the software in mid-July and plans to finish similar projects in European and South American operations by the end of 2005, Brewer said.

He added that the rollout in North America has boosted performance on the PCS unit’s Oracle database servers by 62 per cent, mostly as a result of the reduction in data.

At the Bleeding Edge

Ray Paquet, an analyst at Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner Inc., said database archiving products from companies such as OuterBay, Princeton Softech Inc. and Applimation Inc. are still on the bleeding edge of technology. But they’re prompting a flood of inquiries from prospective users, he added.

Slow database throughput due to a glut of data is “a business problem, not a technology problem,” Paquet said.

IT managers need to get the business side involved early on to decide issues such as what data should be archived, how long it should be kept and who can access it, Paquet advised.

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