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Vol. 10 Num. 4 June 2011

Centera: End of an era, or end of an error?

With its Centera storage system, EMC was the standard-bearer for content-addressable storage; but the proprietary nature of the product is wearing thin. Around 2003, we seemed to be on the threshold of a new storage era that had the potential to revolutionize how we stored data and could use it more effectively in our businesses. The optimism was encouraged by a new concept called content-addressable storage (CAS) and EMC was its key proponent with its Centera system. Centera was an object-based storage system that provided extended metadata attributes to give users more control over and insight into data. EMC successfully recruited independent software vendors (ISVs) to support Centera’s application programming interfaces (APIs), which required more work but provided deeper integration between the applications and hardware. It was a powerful vision: a storage system that removed the complexities and many of the limitations of storage-area network (SAN) and network-attached storage (NAS). You could scale Centera to any size ...

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