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EMC Centera Gets Nodes Job

EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) is putting Centera on a diet to ward off encroachment from competitors looking to jump into the small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) market.

EMC today started shipping Centera Light,” a four-node version of its content addressed storage (CAS) system for fixed content. The mini-Centera holds 2.2 Tbytes of storage, a bit more than half the capacity of the eight-node version, which up to now has been the smallest of EMC's enterprise configurations.

Although there is one notable change to Centera’s architecture with the new release (more on that in a minute), the smaller version is mostly a marketing move. EMC senses SMEs are ready to deal with compliance archiving issues, just as enterprises have done over the past few years.

“Midsize companies definitely have similar archiving demands now as enterprise companies, but the baseline Centera price was too high for them,” says analyst Arun Taneja of Taneja Group. “Permabit and Archivas and some of the other guys were trying to slide in from the bottom, so EMC wants to plug that hole.”

Sean Lanagan, EMC’s director of product marketing for Centera, admits as much. “If I were a new company coming into the market, I would target the low end,” he says. “And competitors have done that to try and grab customers who said they considered Centera too expensive.”

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