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EMC Launching Centera Upgrades

Virtual pooling enhancements make it easier to compartmentalize applications and secure data.
EMC Corp. on Monday will unveil virtual pooling and other enhancements to its Centera fixed-content archiving system. Virtual pooling enables administrators to create separate logical pools of fixed content such as E-mails, images, and digital assets within a single physical cluster, which can contain hundreds of terabytes of data.

The virtual pooling idea is built around compartmentalizing applications stored on Centera so that one application can't view another's data. One way that's done is by enabling the definition of data-security access rules. "Being able to carve physical clusters into virtual pools allows you to create a Centera within a Centera," says Tony Asaro, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group.

EMC is also launching replication software, which, when used in conjunction with virtual pools, enables remote replication of selected pools of data rather than an entire physical cluster. The software supports both chain and star topologies. In a chain topology, fixed content is replicated to Centera systems in multiple locations; in a star topology, replication occurs from up to three Centera platforms onto a single Centera.

Taken as a whole, the enhancements are EMC's largest Centera software release to date, says Sean Lanagan, director of product management at EMC. Centera is EMC's flagship platform for fixed-content archiving; the product utilizes magnetic disk write-once, read-many storage, which ensures that permanent documents can't be erased once written.

The company earlier this year launched FileArchiver, an "information-life-cycle-management-in-a-box" product that provides automated policy-management for moving data from EMC's Celerra network-attached storage system to Centera. It also debuted a "seek" function that provides Googlelike search capabilities.