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Information Life Cycle Management (ILM)

Definition - What does Information Life Cycle Management (ILM) mean?

Information Life Cycle Management (ILM) is a complex Data Life Management Cycle (DLM) subset and Records and Information Management (RIM) practice used for data storage, system administration and management. The strategic ILM approach is used to determine how data is moved, deleted, destroyed or archived and is based on automated storage procedures, manual data organization formats (paper, microfilm, photographs, negatives and audio/video recordings) and early data storage management, like hierarchical storage management (HSM).

Techopedia explains Information Life Cycle Management (ILM)

ILM is effective in modern computing where data management is critical, due to compliance issues from legislation like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Both are used to regulate particular types of data management.

ILM uses more complex criteria than data file type, age and access frequency. ILM products automate data management by organizing data and automating data migration into tiers categorized by policy criteria.

ILM is based on three storage strategies, as follows:

  • Policy: Determined by business goals and drivers. Storage and information policies are shaped by executive and managerial determinations of IT governance and management, service level agreements (SLA), change control processes and system availability and recovery time requirements in the event of unexpected events, such as accidents or disasters.
  • Operational: Includes data backup and recovery, like data restoration and system restarts; archiving (long-term data retention) and other daily processes and procedures for storage management.
  • Infrastructure: Includes logical and physical architectures, such as simulated and physical hard drive partitions; applications and corresponding storage platforms related to required production, testing and development; data storage security and data center capacities and limitations.

ILM's path management feature is used facilitate stored application data retrieval and allow user specification of policies that define data values according to different times, rates and lifespan. For example, ILM systems allow users to search for various types of stored data file instances, such as customer IDs.

Unforeseen circumstances occur outside of normal business operations and cannot be automated. An example is a legal hold, also known as a litigation hold or legal freeze, which requires data administrators to cease normal ILM data flow continuation.

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