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Pillar juices Axiom software

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Pillar is adding four features to its Axiom software to make arrays protect data better and operate more efficiently.

It's adding its own array-based replication to extend its current FalconStor and InMage functions with policy-based Application-Aware profiles to replicate data asynchronously between Axiom arrays.

Pillar is also introducing the ability to monitor drives and detect ones that are likely to fail. Data on these drives is copied pre-emptively so that if and when they do fail the data rebuild is much faster. Pillar says it's been very careful to avoid false positives and having the array copy data off drives that are in fact healthy.

The Quality of Service (QoS) function in an Axiom works at the array level, across all storage tiers, and defines storage QoS levels for applications such that their data can be accessed and protected in defined ways. For example, sensitive data has higher protection levels. With the new software release, each storage media type (Fibre CHannel, solid state drive, SATA hard drive) can have all the QoS priority bands operational within a respective class for more granular use.

There are five tiers of storage and five QoS bands, forming a matrix.

Pillar says: "The QoS adjusts priority, CPU, cache and network resources - all extremely effective even with SSD in a storage pool. While statistical short stroking is one of the tools used to optimize SATA performance, it is only one tool used by the Axiom to extract every drop of performance from the capacity pool."

The fourth new function is application-aware QoS migration. This is the ability for administrators to directly control data movement within the array if they wish. Pillar says that relying utterly on automated tiering takes that control away from the administrators and restricts their ability to react to external events affecting the entire array, such as a service level agreement change or file status alteration.

An example might be an archived video that needs to be brought off long-term SATA storage and put in Fibre Channel or the solid state drive tier so that it can be re-rendered for fresh use. With app-aware QoS migration the administrators can do this without waiting for scanned data access patterns to detect higher activity and move blocks of data up the tiers more slowly than a single cross-tier migration operation.

The new software comes as an update for existing customers. ®

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