EMC Widens CAS Pool

Supports virtual pools and more flexible replications for Centera

June 21, 2005

2 Min Read
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EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) is jumping into the virtual pool for its Centera content addressed storage (CAS) system, reflecting greater competition in the CAS space as well as a change in the way customers use the archiving box.

EMC today announced software upgrades that will let customers treat data in different applications as separate pools, while also expanding its replication capabilities for Centera.

Sean Lanagan, director of emerging products at EMC, says most customers originally ran only one application on a Centera system, but eventually started running multiple apps. The problem is, Centera treats all applications the same -- so if a company wants to replicate or search data in one application, it has to do the same for all applications in the archive. This consumes time. And organizations often want to treat data in different applications differently for security reasons.

EMC's new software includes up to 180 virtual pool licenses, each supporting a separate application. Besides moving data within one specific application, customers can search and retrieve data for one application at a time for quicker searches, and they can use Centeras chargeback software on an application-by-application basis.

EMC also changed Centera’s replication capabilities. It previously supported only one-to-one replication between two systems. The new software allows replication to multiple sites from a central archive, or chaining three or more systems to replicate data from one to the next.The upgrades are part of a chain of improvements and come in the wake of increased competition in the CAS space, which EMC began with Centera in 2002 (see EMC Has Eyes for Huge Archives). EMC added chargeback reporting software in March and then came out with a smaller four-node version in May (see EMC 'Charges' Into Archives and EMC Centera Gets Nodes Job).

The changes should help EMC maintain its position as the dominant player in CAS, but it no longer has the fixed-content space to itself. Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) and Storage Technology Corp. (StorageTek) (NYSE: STK) have competitive systems, as do startups Archivas Inc. and Permabit Inc. (see StorageTek Rolls Its Own CAS, HP Delivers Storage Grid Solution), and Archivas Seeks Archiving Action).

There's more on the way: Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) is developing a CAS system for later this year; Nexsan Technologies Inc. is working on one with software it picked up by acquiring Evertrust.net in March; and Veritas Software Corp. (Nasdaq: VRTS) spent $58 million on archiving software startup DataCenter Technologies Inc. (DCT) in April (see Sun Pushes Into NAS , Nexsan Targets CAS Startup, and Veritas Archives Another Startup).

— Dave Raffo, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch

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