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CAS vs. Snaplock Volume

What is the difference between content addressed storage (CAS) and storage on NetApp's SnapLock Volume? What are the criteria to select one over the other?

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Both solutions are used to address fixed content data storage requirements. Fixed content, in this context, means data that does not (or must not) change. However, NetApp's SnapLock is mostly aimed at protecting data integrity by creating unalterable, write once read many (WORM) volumes. This is aimed at protecting data from unauthorized changes or deletion in order to meet certain regulatory compliance requirements.

CAS offers the same protection features but has an added layer of functionality. Content addressed storage, as the name implies, offers the ability to track and locate data as well as perform summary content searches through the creation of content addresses. Content addresses are unique identifiers about data that are created based on content.

The major selection criteria for the type of storage that best suits your environment will depend largely on whether only unalterable records are required or if the added functionality of CAS is necessary. Cost also becomes the next decisional factor, as added functionality comes at a price.

This was first published in April 2005

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