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Larry Ellison branded storage absent at Oracle

CEO can't sell himself on new kit

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Larry Ellison has poured millions into his personal storage start-up Pillar Data, but it turns out that not even Larry's Own is good enough for Oracle - at least not yet.

Oracle is sticking with Network Appliance and EMC for the time being instead of picking up competing systems from Pillar. That's a tough rub for a company Ellison funded with $150m. You'd think that kind of cash would at least buy a customer quotation in an Oracle press release.

Pillar's inability to push NetApp out of Oracle is an especially painful blow. Pillar has billed itself as a cheaper, more efficient alternative to NetApp - the leader in network attached storage (NAS). Oracle's snub of Pillar gave NetApp some room to gloat.

"Oracle remains a strategic NetApp partner and an important customer - neither of our Oracle relationships has been affected by other entries into the storage space," said Eric Brown, PR director at Network Appliance.

Oracle declined to comment other than to say all is well with NetApp and EMC. Pillar vowed to "earn its stripes" and try and win Oracle's business just like it would any other customer.

Oracle and NetApp are close partners to be sure, and it's not like a start-up could change this relationship overnight. The two companies proudly say that they run on each others' technology, which means each company's kit is well entrenched in the other's data center.

Pillar, however, has had plenty of time to work the Ellison angle on Oracle. It's been hiding in a stealth cocoon for four years, blossoming last week as a new storage contender. Every story about the company mentioned Ellison's involvement again and again and again. Didn't the Oracle IT department get the message? ®

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