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Centera Update – 12TB nodes now available

Here’s one that slipped in under the radar.  With EMC’s focus for archiving being on Isilon and Atmos these days, it wasn’t well publicized that a new Gen4LP (LP = Low Power = 5400RPM drives) node is now available.   I didn’t realize it myself until I was filling out a Centera change control form and noticed a new option.    The 12TB G4LP nodes use 3TB drives internally.  Other than that I doubt there is much change to the hardware.   One thing to note, you cannot add these to an existing cube that is built on previous G4LP nodes.   12TB nodes can only be in a cube by themselves. 

I’ve commented before that I still believe Centera is still a very legitimate platform: https://hoosierstorage.wordpress.com/2011/05/04/does-archiving-to-centera-or-cas-still-matter-2/.  Many Centera customers are struggling with the decision of whether to move to Isilon or Atmos.  While either one may make sense in some cases, in other cases there’s nothing wrong with sticking with Centera.  It’s a pretty painless migration do to something like a CICM or C2C, certainly less effort and cost will be involved than migrating to an alternative technology.   Yes, Centera is somewhat “proprietary”, especially now that EMC has ended XAM development, but if EMC is a preferred manufacturer then there isn’t much to worry about.    You can rest assured that EMC is going to support this platform for a minimum of 5 years once the node hardware goes end of sale like they do with all hardware (except Symm, which is longer).   Even in an unfathomable scenario where EMC went out of business, there are multiple 3rd parties that can migrate data off Centera now.  The 12TB node will offer a pretty attractive refresh TCO based on hardware refreshes I’ve seen going from G3/G4 to Gen4LP 8TB nodes.  Then, in 5-7 years when it’s time for another tech refresh, hopefully the debate between Isilon and Atmos as the preferred archiving platform will be over 🙂

Release announcement:

Product: Centera CentraStar v4.2 SP2 (4.2.2) and 12TB Node Hardware

General Availability Date: Nov 19, 2012

Product Overview

Centera is a networked storage system specifically designed to store and provide fast, easy access to fixed content (information in its final form). It is the first solution to offer online availability with long-term retention and assured integrity for this fastest-growing category of information. CentraStar is the operating environment that runs the Centera cluster.

New Feature Summary

The following new features and functionality are available within CentraStar v4.2.2:

  • The introduction and support for GEN 4LP 12TB nodes utilizing 3TB drives.
  • Improved security through an updated SUSE Linux platform (SLES 11 SP2) and Java updates.
  • Consolidation of the CentraStar and Centera Virtual Archive software into one package for improved installation and maintenance.


Categories: Archive, EMC
  1. June 28, 2013 at 1:36 PM

    Nice article. Wanted to add some information around how you can now manage the Centera object and information. The DobiMiner Centera object management package from Datadobi (datadobi.com) – which provides insight into Centera environments like never before – enables data to be kept safe and compliant while achieving the best ROI from any Centera investment.

    Four key operational pain points are addressed:
    • Retention and compliance – keep out of legal and audit trouble, get rid of expired data, ensure you are 17a-4 compliant
    • Cluster synchronization – ensuring they are in synch and getting them back in synch when they are not
    • SLA and chargeback – know who/what is using specific pools/resources
    • Trending – both object and capacity

    On top of the DobiMiner Centera Management software, Datadobi offers Centera migration expertise:
    • Centera expertise – Datadobi ex-Centera engineers with a combined 40+ years of experience
    • 100% accuracy – Datadobi uses a closed-loop migration process and validates the target data is in place and intact
    • Fast and predictable – Datadobi is simply the fastest solution end-to-end
    • Know what is going on – Datadobi reporting is transparent and frequent
    • Migrate only what needs migrating – Datadobi can target only the data with business value

    I’d love to discuss with anyone who wants more information.

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