EMC Dips Into Virtual Data Pools

EMC is sprucing up its storage software that harnesses files and corrals them for long-term archiving.

The information systems vendor added virtual pooling and new replication perks to its Centera content-addressed storage (CAS) system.

The pooling allows Centera to serve as a central archive that stores fixed content such as e-mail, documents and images gathered from across an enterprise as part of an information lifecycle management (ILM) strategy.

Virtual pools in Centera will allow users to create storage pools in Centera whenever needed, allowing applications to be treated differently based on priority. EMC Centera director of product management Sean Lanagan said the new utility ensures that certain applications can’t access data that other applications store.

Customers can then use Centera Seek software to find and retrieve the digital content in each of the virtual pools or in the entire Centera system. Centera Chargeback Reporter software allows internal billing for each pool based on usage.

The virtual pools are complemented by new replication features, which copy data from just the pools that the customer wants replicated, said Lanagan.

With the new technology, enterprises can install a better disaster recovery program by replicating content to three linked Centera systems that reside in different locations. A new configuration option allows replication from up to three remote or edge Centera systems back to a single Centera.

Analysts see CAS as the approach of choice for customers serious about long-term content that needs to remain unchanged until it is ready to be purged from systems and destroyed. A key characteristic of CAS software is its ability to store and secure digital assets and to allow quick access to them when needed.

CAS is a key ingredient for ILM, an increasingly popular method customers employ to manage assets from cradle to grave to comply with strict data retention and protection rules such as Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPAA.

Rivals Permabit and Archivas also build CAS products, but EMC is a first mover, having issued its first CAS component in 2002.

EMC also has the marketing clout and sales force to give it an edge over its smaller rivals, which are looking to flourish by offering different approaches to the same problem.

In related news, EMC Monday also rebranded and extended its consulting service offerings as EMC Consulting. Going forward, EMC and its partners will offer global services for ILM via expanded practices in the Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) region and Latin America.

Article courtesy of Internet News

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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