Pillar pushes into the SMB market

By Kevin Komiega

August 12, 2008 -- Pillar Data Systems has been steadily rolling out new products over the past year with the aim of reaching smaller customers. Now, the company seems to have achieved its goal of moving from an enterprise-only storage provider into the small and medium-sized business (SMB) market with the debut of the Axiom 300, an SMB version of its storage array designed primarily for its channel partners.

The Axiom 300 comprises a single NAS unit, Fibre Channel or iSCSI Slammer storage controller, capacities ranging from 6.5TB to 13TB using 500GB or 1TB SATA drives, a Pilot policy management engine, and AxiomONE management software.

The array includes a range of standard features, including pre-configured and user-customizable application profiles that allow administrators to optimize the arrays for specific applications, thin provisioning, and disk utilization rates of up to 80%.

There are also a number of optional features, such as an additional CIFS or NFS protocol license and software services such as a Copy Services, including CloneFS/LUN, VolumeCopy, and VolumeBackup. Pillar also offers up to three additional 500GB or 1TB SATA capacity bricks for a total maximum capacity of 52TB.

Pillar's claim to fame is its concept of "application-aware" storage, under which the company identifies and characterizes the I/O profiles of commonly used applications, thus simplifying the system configuration and storage provisioning processes. The canned configurations include Axiom Profiles and are available to users via a drop-down menu in the user interface.

The Axiom 300 also has a new set of application profiles, including optimized configurations for Oracle, Microsoft Exchange, and virtual server environments. The system is also certified for use with Windows Server 2008 x64, Windows Server 2008 x86, and Windows Server 2008 IA64.

Pillar is hoping the Axiom 300's size, features, and entry price of approximately $35,000 will make it an attractive product to its channel partners. The company claims partners in its Emerald Partner program will benefit from investment components that allow greater profitability, professional services enablement, and joint strategic sales. Additionally, Pillar's Registered Service Providers will be able to wrap the Axiom 300 with professional services, increasing service margins and profits.

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Pillar streamlines storage provisioning for virtual environments

This article was originally published on August 11, 2008