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EMC 'Charges' Into Archives

Software from EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) promises to give storage administrators a way to query and charge business users of Centera content-addressed storage (CAS) systems -- no matter what applications are on those systems (see EMC Unveils Centera Seek & Chargeback).

EMC's product announcement today covers two components: EMC Centera Seek and EMC Centera Chargeback Reporter. Seek searches Centera metadata, and Chargeback Reporter lets administrators link Centera storage to content from specific business units.

Hang on: What about all the other content-sifting wares available for Centera -- such as the KVS Enterprise Vault from Veritas Software Corp. (Nasdaq: VRTS), or EMC Software's own Documentum content management package?

No conflict, says EMC product marketing manager Steve Spataro. "Centera Seek and Chargeback are not competitive with those applications," he says. Instead, administrators, who may or may not also be using KVS or other tools, can simplify their lives by speeding up the process of querying any package that has metadata on a Centera platform, then linking that to a chargeback list. The admins, or other IT personnel, may be querying KVS or Documentum separately for entirely different business purposes.

EMC's announcement points to a growing need for tools that help IT parse the metadata associated with various storage archives. The need for these tools is getting more urgent as healthcare and legal regulations demand that a growing body of corporate data be stored for longer-than-ever periods of time.

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