EMC has brought out a new version of its Centera software, adding virtual pooling and remote replication so different departments' apps can be stored individually in a Centera archive.

Centera stores archive data in a way that guarantees only one unaltered copy of data is kept, called content-addressable store. Users can now set up sub-sections of Centera's available disk storage as virtual storage pools. These can be allocated to departments in a business or to applications. They can be searched using EMC's Centera Seek software, which helps business respond to compliance queries.

A chargeback facility means an IT department can distribute Centera usage costs for each pool to users. A new replication facility can make copies of one or more pools and store them on a remote Centera -up to three in fact for added protection.

EMC says these features mean that businesses can devise application or department-specific business continuity planning.

Centera general manager, Tom Heiser, said: "Customers have asked us for additional functionality to make EMC Centera their sole archiving platform. With this announcement [we have done this, allowing for] the autonomy of separate applications."

He said EMC continues to make archiving simpler by offering both an application-specific archive and a unified archive. It's not known if EMC will charge extra for the new software version and its added features.