Pillar: No tradeoff to invest in green storage

When you compete with the likes of data storage giant EMC, it helps to have a point of differentiation. A gimmick, if you will.

When you compete with the likes of data storage giant EMC, it helps to have a point of differentiation. A gimmick, if you will. In the case of Larry Ellison-backed Pillar Data Systems, that gimmick is green.

The company has come up with a clever way of helping quantify the green-ness of its SAN technology by creating what it calls the Pillar Storage Efficiency Quotient. I can't represent the equation graphically on this blog, but Pillar encourages customer prospects to examine their storage needs in these terms: Capacity times Performance divided by Power times Space.

Pillar's theory is that the typical data center is made up off too many specialized storage devices, each serving a unique purpose. These devices each take up valuable space and require their own source of electricity, which tends to amp up your energy costs. Pillar's answer is to provide a unified software-based way of handling multiple tasks: the Pillar AxiomOne suite. The technology supports multiple protocols including Fibre Channel and SATA and can be configured as a Fibre Channel storage area network (SAN), iSCSI SAN, Network File Systems or Common Internet File System. The company recently signed a technology alliance with VMware to improve its status as a platform for consolidation.

O'Donnell/Atkins, which bills itself as the largest development brokerage firm in California, opted recently to deploy the Axiom technology after suffering a major data loss several years ago. In a press release issued by the companies, the O'Donnell/Atkins IT manager, Vince Delperang, said the product takes up half the space of its previous storage, while managing more information and holding data center cooling costs relatively flat.