Oracle Explains How Pillar Buy Fits Its Storage Strategy

By Stuart J. Johnston

A day after announcing it is acquiring Pillar Data Systems, a vendor of highly scalable SAN Block I/O storage systems, Oracle executives held a press event to lay out at least a partial roadmap of where the database giant's latest purchase fits into the company's longer-term strategy.

No surprise that the event's host, Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) President Mark Hurd told the media and analysts gathered for its Oracle Storage Strategy Update that the best way to deal with their storage needs is to go with a completely homogenous Oracle solution, especially with the Pillar purchase.

"We've got a full family of storage products now," Hurd said. "That's going to push into the way we view the hardware markets."

The purchase, announced Wednesday, teams Pillar's Axiom with Oracle's existing Exadata Database I/O systems, ZFS NAS File I/O storage appliances, and StorageTek tape systems.

"[Pillar Axiom] is the perfect product for the SAN side of our business," Phil Bullinger, senior vice president of storage said of the acquisition, mentioning SAN consolidation as one important area of use.

"You can run many applications on this platform [and] it has simplified management ... you can set it up in under two hours without the help of professional services," Bullinger added.

Indeed, Oracle, which purchased Sun Microsystems in early 2010 was looking to fill the SAN storage hole because previously Sun had resold third-party products.

Oracle executives, on the other hand, considered it critical for the company to own a proprietary storage asset in the SAN arena, especially for building engineered systems, according to an Oracle presentation explaining the Pillar buy.

In fact, Hurd said that rapid evolution in the storage industry is causing a "sea change" that will radically "shift the paradigm" in the near future.

Applications are going to run 10 times faster and take 10 times less storage.

Those are big numbers," Hurd added.

This article was originally published on June 30, 2011