Pillar adds 'application awareness' to Axiom arrays
Will improve efficiency of 'open pod bay' door program
While it's par for the course for a vendor to claim global eminence and dominance in anything within throwing distance of their boxes, this particular story seems a stretch. Various forms of application-aware storage management have been used in hardware such as EMC's Centera, Hitachi's Archivas, and Sun's StorageTek systems for some time. It's also ground staked by software vendors such as Symantec, Aptare and Bycast and others.
Of course, you can claim all kinds of first by adding the nifty word "true" into the mix. Larry Ellison's $150m data storage company apparently likes this trick.
But application-awareness is pretty nifty technology, so we'll just move on with things.
The new Axiom feature lets the storage administrator assign specific performance settings such as capacity, I/O rate, CPU priority, cache configuration and such on an application-by-application basis.
Sort of like this, assuming you also have super magnification vision:
Image courtesy the Pillar blog
Admins can make profiles and tune both in-house and third party applications. They can also make temporary changes to performance criteria on-the-fly for short term bumps such as discovery or data mining.
Ready for some stats of questionable origin? Pillar says the benefits of using application-aware storage services include a 50 per cent reduction in administrative expenses and total cost of ownership, as well as disk utilization of up to 80 per cent.
Additional tidbits can be found on Pillar's page over yonder. ®
According to the Pillar website:
1)The company has clams for a mascot.
2) Pillar CEO Mike Workman buildscustom fireworks in a desert facility outside Oatman, Arizona.
The current stuff works well, so it's promising
We've got ~40TB on a NAS Pillar, and we're using it to serve everything from mail via Cyrus (lots of small files, mostly read) through home directories and Clearcase up to Oracle. The QoS stuff they offer does what it says on the tin, clamping the ability of the people that didn't pay for the box to impact on the people that did, and giving everyone predictable performance. There's a few matters of taste (for example, rather like contended DSL when there are few users, giving low priority users the whole system when no-one else is using it doesn't manage their expectations very well, so it would be nice to clamp their performance even when there's plenty spare) but the box basically does what it say on the tin.
Throw in stone-reliable hardware and a software architecture which means that problems --- and you don't buy startup NAS hardware without expecting and tolerating a few of those --- simply trigger a second or so of failover delay and it's a sound product. And well priced, too.
I'm fairly hard-bitten with NAS products, having been using NFS as my dominant storage technology since 1986. I've run Auspexes and NetApps, along with Sun on the front of EMC, Datacore and other hip buzzwords. But the Pillar has been at least as good as the best of the rest, and in terms of having one vendor to deal with for the whole stack harkens back to the heyday of Auspex (not surprising, given the number of Auspex alumni at Pillar, and standing an Axion next to an NS6000 is a hoot).
A Total Awareness Application ....... with Elf's Support for MaJIC
"They can also make temporary changes to performance criteria on-the-fly for short term bumps such as discovery or data mining."
In a Pioneer XXXXPlorer, would such "short term bumps" become a steady Stream of More Candy for Discoveries in Data/MetaDataMining which would then QuITe Naturally and Spntaneously Generate Production of Product to MetaDataMine. IT would Create .
And I'll just say that again, only this time, a little Louder ..... IT CREATES.
Apparently it's the name of his dog, not the shellfish :D