I'd been giving a lot of thought lately to the issues of cloud computing in relation to Information Lifecycle Management. As a significant portion of your data begins to reside in the cloud, does it make ILM a dated concept, or simply moot?
Apparently BMC has been giving this topic the same consideration, because on Tuesday they announced their Cloud Lifecycle Management product which is designed to apply ILM strategies to the cloud, as well as their customer's existing networks (or private clouds as marketing types are trying to rename them). Reading through the current product information makes it clear that BMC is applying the management strategies they already use, repositioning some concepts as cloud related, and extending their flexible provisioning to hybrid clouds, so that their customers can take advantage of additional cloud resources outside of their own networks.
The press release is, of course filled with current partners and customers singing the praises of BMC's approach to ILM and to their openness in working with their partners. BMC certainly has the history in , the ILM market to take a good shot at developing and implementing practical ILM strategies for the cloud, but a quick look at the product information available on BMC's website severely tempered my interest in this cloud ILM technology.
In an ideal world, the customer should be able to apply their ILM strategy to the cloud as well as their internal resources. This means, however, that there needs to be a strategy in place to allow the customer to select from the wide variety of cloud service offerings and pick and choose from best of breed services. That's one of the primary benefits of cloud computing.
At this point, according to BMC's website, integration is only available with Amazon Web Services. There's no mention of any future support for other web service providers. And this is the biggest hurdle for ILM with the cloud. There needs to be a way to manage cloud services, regardless of provider, seamlessly from your own environment. Locking customers into a limited selection of cloud services may simply keep them from finding the right service that their business needs.