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Pillar Data Systems Announces New Application-Aware Storage Profiles for Use in Virtual Server Environments
Pillar Data Systems, the leading provider of Application-Aware storage systems, today announced availability of application profiles for use in virtual server environments, including VMware and Oracle VM. Todays news builds on a series of application profiles Pillar has made available with the delivery of its Application-Aware Storage system, announced Feb. 5.

Pillar Axioms Application-Aware Quality of Service (QoS) technology eliminates the need for companies to purchase double the amount of storage required in order to alleviate the utilization and performance degradation associated with virtualized server projects.

One of Pillars partners, AccessFlow Inc, a top VMware Premier Partners and the 2007 recipient of VMwares Rising Star of the Americas Award, touts the benefits of using the Pillar Axiom in virtual environments.

In many cases of actual VMware deployments, were seeing an additional 200-400 percent of storage required to overcome the performance and utilization degradation associated with traditional storage systems. In those situations, the incremental cost of that extra storage can potentially offset the cost benefits of a virtualized server environment, said Steve Kaplan, President and co-founder, AccessFlow Inc. Pillar overcomes that problem. The Axioms architecture eliminates the need to buy double or quadruple the storage a business actually needs, bringing massive cost savings and unique synergies in a virtualized infrastructure.

Pillar Axiom is the only storage system to allow administrators to provision storage uniquely tuned to the application need and priority running on virtual servers by using profiles. Storage can be provisioned in both a thin and physical context. The administrator simply selects an application profile from a drop-down menu in the AxiomONE management console. Once selected, the profile automatically configures the Axiom in a way that maximizes performance for the application running in a virtual machine by assigning greater priority, more cache, and faster spindles to those actions deemed most important.

Businesses are demanding IT to bring on more applications, but at the same time reduce the number of physical assets, and the associated power and space requirements. Their storage environments are the first place they look to reduce these physical assets, said Bob Maness, vice president of marketing, Pillar Data Systems. When deciding to move to a virtualized environment, the IT administrator needs to build an infrastructure where virtual servers and virtual storage work together to provide differentiated performance, utilization, and availability service levels based on different application priorities. As the worlds first and only true Application-Aware Storage system, Pillar Axiom has a rich feature set to handle the storage capacity demands of virtual servers as we differentiate service levels similar to virtualized servers.

Typically, server virtualization projects require as much as 2-4 times more storage to mitigate the utilization and performance degradation associated with traditional storage systems in virtual environments. Pillar Axiom alleviates this problem and increases cost savings by reducing deployment time, management, and training costs while providing as much as three times the disk utilization rates of competing storage systems. Additionally, the Axiom reduces storage administration complexity by automating data layout and volume allocation prioritization - even with applications that fluidly change due to virtual server resource scheduling and load balancing.

In addition to provisioning an array to provide optimal performance service levels to applications, the Axiom can dynamically assign or re-assign storage to improve performance for the applications deemed most important, allowing an increased amount of virtual machines to be placed on a physical server by clearing up back-end storage contention. This helps reduce or eliminate the server I/O bottleneck in high consolidation projects.

It's good to see Pillar expanding the list of specific uses for its recently announced Application-Aware storage platform. Tuning the Axiom to virtualized server environments makes a lot of sense, said Mark Peters, analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group. ESG research has found that 54 percent of current users say server virtualization has required a net increase in their total storage capacity. For many users this is an unexpected and unpleasant surprise; and it's a hindrance to the adoption of virtualized servers that Pillar can help mitigate. By managing storage resources based on application needs, Axiom can provide performance and utilization gains compared to traditional storage systems.

Brett Littrell, network manager for the Milpitas Unified School District, which includes nearly 10,000 students and 1,000 employees, and houses approximately 2,000 client computers in its network, saw the benefits from implementing the Pillar Axiom in his virtual environment.

In our recent SAN upgrade, we decided to move to blade servers and virtualized servers. After several tests, we moved forward with VMware as our virtual platform and set up the SAN on a Pillar Axiom, said Littrell. Throughout this process, I was most concerned that the performance on the SAN would be limited. However, the Application-Aware solution from Pillar had features such as quality of service and LUN mapping alleviated that concern, and in fact, allowed us to set predictable service levels within our storage environment. Overall, we're thrilled with the results.

Published Wednesday, February 27, 2008 11:57 AM by David Marshall
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