Pillar Data Desperate for News?

Posted on October 20, 2006

I couldn’t help coming across the following article found pronounced on Pillar Data‘s front page: NetApp Unseated at NASA Unit. The article is from August but Pillar is still proud of it.

I’ll save you the hassle of reading it… basically: NASA’s Solar Data Analysis Center bought a NetApp F840 in 2002. That was about toward the end of the F840’s life, so it wasn’t hot hardware even at the time, so they must have bought just prior to the release of the FAS900’s. Reguardless, they bought it in 2002 and have been happy with it. Now its getting old (really really old) and so they bought a Pillar Axiom. At first they were mirroring the F840 to the Axiom but now, shock of shocks, they flipped and the F840 is now backing up the Axiom! Talk about hot news!

So how is this news? Why did ComputerWorld write this crap? I mean, I’m migrating data from a CX300 to Thumper (Sun Fire X4500) and decommishing the EMC… is that news? Should I call ComputerWorld with the exciting announcement?

Now if, for instance, NASA took the FAS840 into a field and filled it full of C4 so that it didn’t stink up their datacenter, that would be something noteworthy. But they are still using it as a backup solution, which tells me that they like it and are getting a decent ROI.

Its no secret in the storage market right now that Pillar Data is trying to increase its client base so hard that they’ll basically give you the thing for free if you haggle enough. They need to build a client base to show that they are viable and with Larry’s cash they’ll do anything needed to make this brick fly. Frankly, Pillar is a company that just doesn’t excite me. They call ancient performance tuning and allocation techniques ‘revolutionary tiered storage’ and are building a boring FC only device. They probly have more promise than EMC, the bloated and boring beast who’s more interested in virtualization than storage, but they just don’t bring anything terribly exciting to bear. Perhaps I’d feel diffrent if I had some hands on time with one, maybe its a better solution that I think, I’m accepting that I might be wrong… but I don’t see Pillar winning on its merits, I don’t see people saying much good about it, just that they are cheaper, and they aren’t cheaper because of list but because they will undercut anyone that gets in their way, and that sort of “user car salesman” tactics just doesn’t fly with me.

Pillar benchmarks suck. Nothing exciting is out there about them. They whore themselves whenever possible. They’ve got great marketing, I love their ads, very attractive, but little else. In a sense I with they’d just hurry up and die.

Like I said, though, I could be wrong. Maybe its a great product and I’m just not seeing things straight. If so, speak up, they sure could use an advicate.