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EMC improves Centera search facility

Via an OEM deal with Fast Search and Transfer, EMC will speed up the time it takes to access Centera files.

EMC Corp. has improved the search capability of its Centera archiving system with software from Norwegian company Fast Search and Transfer (Fast).

The OEM deal, announced this week, enables more precise search and retrieval of data stored on Centera, and speeds up the time it takes to retrieve content, even as the archive gets larger and more users access the data, EMC claims.

Dubbed Centera Seek, the software is priced at $4,000 for four nodes plus an extra $1,000 for a feature called Chargeback Reporter. This is a capacity utilization tool that lets users create reports based on how much capacity different departments are using. The reports can be used to bill departments or customers for the portion of Centera they use.

Bill Croteau, manager of technology infrastructure at Electric Insurance Co. in Beverly, Mass., is a Centera user and said the software looks interesting, but isn't something he's in need of. "We do not have a chargeback system so the chargeback product doesn't make sense for us … We are also using our Centera for FileNet document images, which has its own search capability." He added, "This would be interesting if we were using the box for more applications."

An EMC spokesperson confirmed: "If you already get search through your application, you won't buy a seat … It's good for when you have multiple applications stored on Centera and want to search across all of them in one shot. Previously, you would have to search each application separately," he said.

It'll be interesting to see how many current Centera users buy this product as EMC, for the longest time, was only selling the product for single applications, which is how many of its customers are using it.

Centera Seek, based on Fast's InStream technology, searches the metadata of files stored on Centera, then applies descriptions to that piece of content and finally indexes it, making it easier to retrieve. EMC is banking on its software partners, of which there are 170, to integrate with the Seek search engine over time.

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