Software AG offers automated data archiving for Adabas

Germany-based Software AG released Monday a data archiving tool for its Adabas database management system to address what an executive called the “two-pronged problem” of escalating costs of growing data volumes.

Today’s organizations must manage a plethora of data while also ensuring they retain information as per regulatory requirements such as Sarbanes-Oxley and Basel II, said Bruce Beaman, senior director of product marketing with Software AG.

“Customers approached us and said we have a problem with incredible volumes of data on our production database,” said Beaman, adding that much of the functionality was driven by customer feedback.   Nominate someone you work with for a ComputerWorld Canada IT Leadership Award

The challenge for enterprises is that more data there is to manage, the greater the charge back costs are for CPU capacity and database administrator resources, said Beaman.

The new Data Archiving for Adabas offering presents several automated capabilities including search, verification, extraction, restore and recovery of data. The fact that these functionalities are automated is one of the main features of this offering, said Beaman, because the database administrator “doesn’t have to do anything except set this up on a schedule.”

The functionality in the data archiving tool is based on customer demand for certain requirements, said Beaman. For instance, customers asked that the data archive be a “database’s database” for easy management. The suggestions were also the drivers behind capabilities like built-in restart and recovery in the event an archiving process fails. Similarly, the ability to recall data should auditors want to view it was included, said Beaman.

Making a tool like Data Archiving for Adabas available also responds to customer anxiety over in-house tools that may not remain compatible with newer releases of databases or operating systems, said Beaman.

Data management challenges exist in organizations due to the large volume of dormant data in databases that support legacy applications, said Beaman. “They might have 14 per cent of data sitting in the database that is not used,” he estimates.

One such Adabas customer with precisely this problem is The Commonwealth of Massachusetts where the organization’s MA21, a health insurance system built on Adabas/Natural system, still holds all its data since 1998. Database administrator Mike Conena said he anticipates the new tool will “help us reduce the size of the production database yet still retain key data in case it’s needed again.”

According to Carl Olofson, research vice-president for application development and deployment with Framingham, Mass.-based IDC, having a database-specific utility to archive data is important when that data must be retained beyond its use to the application. But mere disk archiving is not enough especially when the database has a highly proprietary internal format like Adabas, said Olofson.

“Most Adabas users have been using the product for decades, and it is reasonable to suppose they have been reluctant to archive and delete data … which means their databases have grown constantly for decades, becoming unmanageable,” said Olofson.

The new data archiving tool from Software AG, said Olofson, should hold “considerable value” for those Adabas customers, who include financial institutions and government agencies who must deal with long-term data retention requirements.

Follow Kathleen Lau on Twitter: @KathleenLau

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