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5/6/2005
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EMC Makes The Cut With Centera

EMC is looking to expand its share of the long-term archive storage market and compete against new offerings from rival Veritas Software with this week's introduction of a lower-cost version of its Centera line of content-addressable storage appliances.

EMC this week is looking to expand its share of the long-term archive storage market and compete against new offerings from rival Veritas Software with the introduction of a lower-cost version of its Centera line of content-addressable storage appliances.

The new Centeras give EMC a new weapon against a variety of vendors, all gunning for the same market.

Content-addressable storage creates a unique address from data as a way of letting multiple occurrences of the same file to be deleted, freeing up storage capacity.

EMC, Hopkinton, Mass., cut the size of its new version of the Centera to four nodes, each with four 300-Gbyte hard drives, with a new minimum configuration of 2.2 Tbytes of protected data, said Roy Sanford, vice president of content-addressable storage at EMC. The previous entry configuration was 7.7 Tbytes.

The base configurations of new Centeras will be priced to below $100,000, about 35 percent below current base configurations, Sanford said.

Joseph Fannin, CEO of NetSource, a Littleton, Colo.-based solution provider, said the new models will be a much better fit for the channel.

"The initial target for the Centeras were the big customers looking for a way to be compliant with their data," Fannin said. "But now we will see them fit into a lot more accounts where the channel plays."

Veritas late last month acquired Belgium-based DataCenter Technologies (DCT), a developer of software for compressed backups and long-term archival of data, according to industry sources.

EMC's Centera and DCT's software conceptually are the same, said Arun Taneja, consulting analyst and founder of the Taneja Group, a consulting firm. However, with Centera, the unique address is hashed from an entire file, while with DCT, individual blocks of data within a file are hashed into separate addresses, he said.

Simon Robinson, sector head of The 451 Group, a resarch firm, said Veritas purchased DCT mainly for its engineering staff, but is being quiet about what and what not to say, "especially with the Wall Street reaction to its acquisition by Symantec not that great."

Veritas would not comment on the acquisition, other than to point to its demonstration of some new technologies at its recently concluded Veritas Vision, where it showed data reduction technology as part of future versions of its NetBackup data protection software, expected next year.

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