EMC Gives Centera a Search Jolt


EMC next month will begin selling new search tools for its
Centera fixed content system to help customers pinpoint information
within their file systems.


Centera is 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.

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