29 April 2002 Storage hardware vendor EMC has unveiled a new architecture for storing unchanging data, in a bid to meet the needs of the low-end storage sector and to regain market share. The market for cheap disk-based storage of ‘fixed data’ or ‘reference files’ has huge growth potential, analysts believe.
The Hopkinton, Massachusetts-based company has introduced its ‘Content Addressed Storage’ (CAS) architecture, built around a new storage server called ‘Centera’. This relies on ‘content addressing’ in order to tag so-called ‘reference files’, data that does not change once it has been created, such as video files, corporate email, X-rays and images of bank cheques.
Each piece of data is identified by the equivalent of a digital fingerprint for easier retrieval. An entry-level Centera system with 10 terabytes of ‘raw capacity’ and 16 server nodes costs $204,700 (€227,000) per unit.
According to the Enterprise Storage Group, reference files are expected to constitute more than half of all stored public sector and corporate data by late 2004. Centera has the potential to generate up to $1 billion (€1.1bn) in sales over the next 18 months, believes EMC.