Pillar Data stretches out from midrange

Posted on October 19, 2006

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By Ann Silverthorn

—Pillar Data Systems, which has focused on midrange storage systems for the past five years, is expanding its reach in both directions with enhancements to its Axiom storage platform. Small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) will have the option of smaller capacity and modular features of AxiomONE software. Enterprises will be able to purchase configurations with higher capacity and performance.

The Axiom midrange storage array offers both NAS and SAN within a single, unified architecture. Up until this point the company was shipping Serial ATA (SATA) drives, but now adds Fibre Channel allowing multiple tiers of storage in a single platform.

"We're adding high-performance Fibre Channel to an array that supports SATA," says Russ Kennedy,senior director of marketing strategy for Pillar Data. "With our AxiomONE software, we'll be able to deliver multiple tiers in one platform—even archive. We're also adding 4Gbps on the front-end, a write-once, read-many [WORM] file system for compliance workloads, and improved 2X performance of NAS."

Capacity for the enterprise-level system ranges from 5TB to 380TB with its largest-capacity SATA drives. It features non-disruptive firmware upgrades, the ability to dynamically adjust quality-of-service levels for different types of data, and SMI-S support.

Moving into the SMB space, Pillar Data's entry-level system is designed for departmental and remote-office environments. It offers the same redundancy and high-availability features as the enterprise-level system. Software features, such as snapshots and volume copy services, have been made optional on the SMB platform.

"The SMB system will be the platform we introduce iSCSI on," says Kennedy. "This will be our first iSCSI protocol target. We'll still support general NAS and Fibre Channel, but now iSCSI, too."

Protocol options include copper or optical for NAS, four 1Gbps, 2Gbps, or 4Gbps Fibre Channel ports, or four Gigabit Ethernet ports for iSCSI SAN.

Capacity points for the entry-level system range from 1.6TB to 24TB. It supports SMI-S and has improved usability in the command line interface (CLI).

The expanded systems will be available at the end of this month. Pricing for the entry-level configuration starts at $35,000 for 5TB; the high-end is priced at $70,000 for the same capacity due to the higher performance and all-inclusive software features.


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