EMC Centera Upgrade Extends Online Archiving

EMC offers easier storage and management of archived data taken from a range of sources.

New software for EMC Corp.s Centera storage subsystem promises to let enterprises more easily store and manage archived data coming from a broad array of host systems.

Centera Universal Access 2.1, which begins shipping this week, enables enterprise IT shops to create a consolidated archive for data residing in various storage types, including optical jukeboxes, NAS (network-attached storage) subsystems, file devices, databases and e-mail archives, EMC officials said.

The software resides in the Centera 3.0 cabinet and formerly was sold as a separate gateway appliance. Unlike the previous gateway, which supported connectivity via CIFS (Common Internet File System) and NFS (Network File System) only, Centera Universal Access 2.1 adds support for IBMs IFS (Integrated File System) and FTP, said EMC officials in Hopkinton, Mass.

The existing Centera open API features support for integrated applications that run on Windows, Linux, Unix and the z/OS mainframe operating system.

CUA 2.1 holds up to 350GB of data in a local cache and can manage up to 100 million files. The product will be available in three models: Basic, Retention Support and Enhanced Availability. In addition to running on EMCs Centera hardware, CUA 2.1 can be configured to run on Dell Inc.s PowerEdge 2650.

To extend the reach of its products further, EMC this week will unveil a partnership with Bus-Tech Inc. to allow mainframe applications to access Centera via Bus-Techs Mainframe Appliance for Storage, known as MAS. The gateway provides access to Centera through ESCON (Enterprise Systems Connection) and Fiber Connection links, which provide improved performance and the ability to separate host and storage systems by greater distances.

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Raymond van den Berg, ICT manager at Dutch hospital Vlietland Ziekenhuis, has deployed CUA 2.1 to archive digital radiology data and is moving to archive data from all his office systems because, he said, it has simplified IT operations and is seamless to users. "One should take precautions for disaster recovery, and everybody is dreaming of a quiet, peaceful and disaster-less life," said van den Berg, in Vlaardingen, The Netherlands. "With Centera in place, the risks of a disaster are almost reduced to zero."

Expanding Centeras reach to include nonintegrated applications helps EMC establish a foothold in arenas typically dominated by tape backup systems from vendors such as IBM, said Pete Gerr, an analyst for Enterprise Strategy Group Inc., in Milford, Mass.

For many enterprises, an online archive or repository is needed to safeguard data thats typically kept in an easily accessible format or storage system but has data protection, security or authenticity requirements, Gerr said.

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