Pillar boosts Axiom's capacity, performance

The new Axiom comes with the quad-core AMD Opteron 2354 chip

Pillar Data Systems today announced a new version of its Axiom 600 modular storage array that offers more processing power, storage capacity and available ports.

Pillar Data Systems today announced a new version of its Axiom 600 modular storage array that doubles the processing power, storage capacity and the number of virtual logical unit numbers (LUNs) that can be created on a single system.

The Axiom 600 storage system with the new Slammer Series 2 also increased the number of ports available for network attacked storage (NAS) four-fold. The latest iteration of the Axiom 600 is Pillar's first backward-compatible system.

The new, premium performance Slammer will let users differentiate Quality of Service at more levels to better accommodate different types of data and application performance needs, Pillar said. For example, data can be automatically migrated from 7200-rpm SATA drives to solid-state disk drives based on pre-configured policies.

"It's a full Web-based management system," said Mike Workman, CEO of Pillar. "It can go from 20 [hard drives] to over 800 [drives]. It can go from 3TB and 2,000 I/Os per second to 1,624TB and over 500,000 I/Os per second on a single platform on a single software license. And all of that is available...with Quality of Service that allows for granular chargeback and a multi-tenancy architecture."

The Axiom is a modular storage system, meaning its controller, storage and processor building blocks can be expanded independently. The Axiom 600, consists of the Pilot, Slammer and the Brick. The Pilot controller unit is the management interface console that runs the AxiomONE management software; the Slammer is the processing engine or controller unit, which is fully redundant; and the Brick is the physical disk drive tray, each of which supports up to 26TB of capacity.

An Axiom Slammer can be configured as a block-level storage area network (SAN) system that uses either the Fibre Channel or iSCSI transport protocols or as a file-sharing NAS storage using the CIFS or NFS transport protocol. Axiom hardware is normally upgraded as a whole system, meaning software, processors and hard disk units.

According to Workman, the Axiom 600 upgrade creates a platform for a series of hardware and software products to be announced over the next few months. Workman declined to say what those upgrades would be.

With this update, Pillar is doubling the available cache on the Axiom array to 192GB, and it is available with 2TB hard drives -- double the capacity of previous drives. The new array replaces the current dual-core processor controller blade with a quad-core AMD Opteron 2354 chip.

The new Slammers can be added to previous model 600 Axioms as well as to newly purchased models, Workman said. "They can take an Axiom with a 600 Slammer and add a Series 2 Slammer and get the benefits of additional cache, or upgrade the entire thing to series 2 Slammers while the system is still running," he said. "Or you can enhance the storage pool with 7200-rpm hard disk drives."

Workman said that with multiple applications running in the same environment, such as video streaming, back-up and sequential read-write, users will have more ways to allocate storage resources to each data type for maximum performance and efficiency.

Pricing for the Axiom 600 storage system with the new Slammer Series 2 starts at $37,000.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian, send e-mail to lmearian@computerworld.com or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed .

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