EMC Gives Centera a Search Jolt

EMC has unveiled new search tools for its Centera fixed content system to help customers pinpoint information within their file systems.

Centera is designed for content that must not be altered or deleted, which comes in handy at a time when compliance regulations require files to be stored unchanged for specific lengths of time.

Centera software protects metadata , or information about data. In legal and compliance scenarios, metadata helps locate information about who had access to what content or who viewed it. Rivals Permabit and Archivas provide similar content-addressed storage products.

To this point, Centera has employed a search capability that permitted administrators to find every piece of content stored between a range of dates. Steve Spataro, product marketing manager for Centera, said customers asked EMC to give the product the ability to better query against metadata.

The Hopkinton, Mass., company’s new Centera Seek utility searches metadata across multiple applications for faster, more precise querying of data stored in Centera, Spataro said.

Because this involves a higher power search capability than EMC has to offer, Centera leverages the InStream index and query engine of search software vendor Fast.

An add-on storage module, Centera Seek runs from a stand-alone Intel server outside the Centera cabinet, periodically polling Centera for new or deleted data without disrupting data flow.

Another tool, EMC Chargeback, allows Centera customers to charge enterprises based on the type of infrastructure they use and the percentage they consume.

Working in conjunction with Centera Seek, Chargeback covers bytes written and space consumed, providing automated, scheduled reports. It also integrates with other enterprise chargeback reporting tools and provides an analysis of usage trends.

Pricing is based on the capacity of the Centera installation, which can scale to 32 nodes. Seek is $4,000 for four nodes of Centera capacity. Seek and Chargeback are $5,000 for four nodes.

Though Seek and Chargeback are endemic to the Centera platform and don’t reflect a desire by EMC to get into the market for corporate search, the move highlights an industry trend.

Enterprise software makers are adding utilities to make it easier for customers to find information in databases, file systems and other content repositories. Last week, IBM promised to upgrade its WebSphere Information Integrator software with more search features.

Article courtesy of Internet News

Clint Boulton
Clint Boulton
Clint Boulton is an Enterprise Storage Forum contributor and a senior writer for CIO.com covering IT leadership, the CIO role, and digital transformation.

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