EMC Broadens Centera Platform Support

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Looking to improve its offerings for preserving data cost-effectively, EMC has refreshed its Centera line by reworking the archiving software so it can be accessed by disparate platforms.

The Centera Universal Access (CUA), a software appliance unveiled today, supports non-integrated applications built on Windows, Linux, Unix and IBM’s iSeries platforms. It helps IT managers store and retrieve fixed files and addresses the mix of applications customers use. CUA, which can manage 100 million files and holds 350 gigabytes of local cache, receives content from an application and stores and manages it.

Previous versions of Centera, including a hardware device called Centera Application Gateway (CAG), supported CIFS and NFS environments. CUA supports those as well as HTTP and FTP .

Such support broadens the product’s appeal, according to Eric-Jan Schmidt, director of product marketing for Centera.

“It allows our customers to standardize on Centera and deploy it as a core enterprise archive solution for pretty much any application, data type of platform these days,” Schmidt told internetnews.com.

The software, which sits in a Centera cabinet, is also ideal for Centera customers with in-house legacy or smaller applications.

Centera Universal Access is available in three models: Basic; Retention Support, which supports Centera Compliance edition; and Enhanced Availability, which allows two CUAs to work with one another in case one fails. The Basic product starts at $15,000, while pricing for Retention Support and Enhanced Availability depends on customer need.

CUA is not entirely homegrown. Schmidt said the product has its roots in a storage software company EMC quietly bought last November, called Storigen Systems. After rolling its intellectual assets into its software portfolio, EMC released CAG as a hardware product. The software-based CUA is a natural evolution of CAG, Schmidt said.

Managing fixed content storage, which needs to be stored and retrieved with ease and precision, is one of the many goals of EMC’s information lifecycle management (ILM) strategy for shepherding info from cradle to grave.

Such methods are being espoused by analysts and experts in the wake of the passage of compliance regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA and SEC 17a-4. But ILM is also important because the amount of data that needs to be stored is growing exponentially.

EMC competitors such as HP , IBM and Hitachi Data Systems have all taken up some form of ILM strategy to accommodate the raft of data and rules.

In related Centera news, connectivity provider Bus-Tech said it has enhanced The Mainframe Appliance for Storage (MAS) for Centera with FICON support for IBM mainframes. MAS-Centera emulates IBM tape drives, allowing those applications using tape to be upgraded by writing data to Centera instead, with little disruption.

Article courtesy of InternetNews.com

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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