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Pillar pumps performance in Axiom array

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Pillar Data Systems is topping off its lineup Axiom storage systems with a box supporting a healthy chunk more capacity and performance than its predecessor.

The modus operandi of the Larry Ellison-funded unstart-up is storage efficiency — and this round it's slapping some guarantees on the new Axiom 600 disk array, promising high disk utilization rates.

Pillar systems are composed of three different types of pieces: the controller module, which Pillar calls a "Slammer;" the capacity modules, or "Bricks;" and the management module, the "Pilot."

Axiom's Bricks support a maximum of 6TB storage, 24GB memory, four 4Gb/s Fibre Channel ports, and eight Ethernet ports. A fully geared Axiom 600 can hold 832TB raw storage, 96GB memory, 16 Fibre Channel ports, and 32 Ethernet ports.

Owners of a Axiom 500s can also upgrade to the 600 by switching to a new Slammer.

Pillar is also offering a handful of assertive guarantees with the system. The company says the disk array will use at least 80 per cent of its storage capacity, provide the single best IOPs per dollar ratio in the industry, and run at 99.999 per cent availability.

"By deploying Pillar Axiom, customers can now derive maximum performance, functionality and industry leading utilization rates — and we're the only ones in the industry to guarantee it," said Pillar CEO Mike Workman.

While the company is a bit vague in its literature about the guarantee's all-important "or else" clause, a Pillar spokesman tells us for one year after purchase, the company will reconfigure or service the system free of charge to bring it up to spec if the system doesn't operate in line with the guarantee. That pledge is also extended to the Axiom 500 too.

Pillar has added new profiles to its application-aware management software for the likes of VMware, Microsoft Exchange, SQL, virtual tape libraries, and of course — being funded by Ellison — multiple Oracle applications.

The company also now has Oracle write operations occur in 1MB "wide stripes," resulting in higher throughput between Pillar storage and the requesting application running alongside an Oracle database, said Pillar.

The Axiom 600 in vanilla and MC (mission critical) configurations are available now. A typical low end configuration goes for around $80,000, according to the company. ®

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