Over at DrunkenData John William Toigo comments on my Computerworld post on the death throes of Information Lifecycle Management (ILM).

I wish I could say he tore me a new one – controversy is good for readership – but since we are fundamentally in agreement he had to settle for a couple of zingers and good-natured sputtering over the fact that Computerworld would publish such a thing. However I, for one, will not take agreement lying down. En garde Mr. Toigo!

  • In the world of Journalism, of which CW is nominally a part, it is traditional to maintain a wall between underpaid reporters, power-mad editorial writers and lucre-stained, martini-guzzling marketing reprobates. Thus at my favorite paper, the Wall Street Journal, the reprobates extract huge sums from the very companies the underpaid skewer while the delusional editorial board plays Pangloss to our President’s Candide. In fact, CW blogs are real blogs: I push the publish button and it shows up on line. I don’t clear my topics or my point of view with anyone at CW. AFAIK CW wants interesting content that doesn’t involve cleavage. I wish them luck.
  • JWT, I hate to be the one to break this to you, but you did not coin the term “marketecture” [“Nurse, smelling salts, stat!”]. As the good folks over at Word Spy note the earliest published use dates back to 1990 and is attributed to a Gartner analyst – speaking of martini-guzzling reprobates.
  • I did not assert that ILM is just HSM. The economics are similar, except that ILM’s are worse since it wants more granular information. More file metadata is helpful in managing our steadily growing number of files, and I’ve commented on companies such as Abrevity that offer automation to make it easier. But asking expensive people to classify cheap – in storage terms – files is a non-starter.
  • John notes that “. . . tools alone won’t create a disciplined managed data environment . . . .” and at the risk of sounding like a wuss, I couldn’t agree more. Having watched user behavior for a couple of decades I propose Harris’s Law of IT User Behavior: Given a choice between discipline, management and planning or indulgent, unconstrained and ad hoc environments, users choose the latter every time.

However You Slice It
ILM is still baloney. It exists to sell expensive storage, when storage should be plentiful and cheap. The industry should put its money and intelligence into creating what customers need instead of what, in the short term, maximizes profits. Someone will, and the winners now will later be last.

Thanks To Alert Reader
Michael for pointing me at John’s post.