Information Lifecycle Management
Demand for management of information has been growing on two sides: on one side is the increasing volume of accumulated content in organizations and companies (e.g. by technical innovations like Email or recently web 2.0 technologies like wikis and blogs, etc.), and on the other side legal demands for long time storage of this content is imposed. Also, storage is still a scarce commodity that should be used efficiently and to full capacity. With Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) for Alfresco Westernacher offers a powerful tool to manage the lifecycle of information based on Alfresco. The system stores data of various types respecting compliance regulations. It further optimizes the use of different storage media (by supporting HSM structures) as well. ILM for Alfresco is designed as an open solution that can be deployed in a very flexible way without vendor dependencies on the storage tier. On the other side, it integrates perfectly into the Alfresco architecture. The records management component of Westernacher’s ILM module allows a granular configuration of retention periods for different types and categories of information by means of policies definitions. The user‐friendly policy configuration wizards are integrated into the Alfresco webclient. A reporting dashlet is available for the Alfresco management dashboard. Users can easily distinguish content marked for archiving and intervene when needed. As soon as a document or a file is marked for archiving the archiving agent activates the archiving services. During the first step of the process all metadata are extracted into XML files. A rendition will be created for the document (or all documents of a file), i.e. it will be transformed into a long‐term format. Depending on the configuration, a signature service will digitally sign the document. Finally, all data (documents, metadata and renditions) are combined into a „collection“. The collection ensures that all related data are kept together in a logical unit and enables a complete data restore including all metadata, independent from the Alfresco server. Over a thin connector layer all „collections“ are passed on to the storage hardware. This connector architecture allows a complete abstraction of the entire system from the attached hardware ensuring at the same time that the functionality (e.g. internal policies) supplied by the storage system can be put to comprehensive use.The connector concept supports the integration of multiple storage systems. Existing customer implementations include hardware / storage interfaces to IBM Tivoli Storage Manager, Ceyoniq, IXOS, EMC Centera, Sec-Docs by Fujitsu and others. Additional light-weight interfaces will be made available for individual use.
Flexible configuration by means of policies, seamless integration into the Alfresco web‐user interface, integrated dashlets for reporting, optimal integration into the Alfresco architecture (e.g. usage of the „stores“ concept), excellent scalability by systematic separation of production and archive content stores, automatic conversion of formats, support for digital signature, manufacturer independence, integration of multiple storage systems possible, reconstruction of all data possible without source system, support of long‐term formats.