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Pillar Leaves Post - At Last

After spending nearly four years and $150 million in development, Pillar Data Systems has a product to ship.

Until now, the company has been known primarily as Larry Ellisons storage toy (see Larry's Stealth Storage Startup). The Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) CEO is Pillar’s lone investor through his Tako Ventures firm, and he put up the $150 million that let the startup grow into a 350-person organization headquartered in San Jose, Calif., before finishing its product.

Now -- drumroll -- enter the Pillar Axiom 500, an integrated NAS and SAN system for the midrange. Is it worth the wait since 2001?

“It has been a long time,” Pillar CEO Mike Workman admits. “We didn’t spend $150 million playing ping pong. Larry wants a storage company, and he’s interested in a home run, not a bunt. This product had to be feature rich.”

Still, at this stage, Pillar seems to have left more features on the roadmap than it put in its product. Pillar is shipping NAS, but the SAN part is mostly still in beta testing with limited customer availability until later this month. It supports SATA drives, but Fibre Channel drives are six months out. So is iSCSI support -- and some advanced software features such as replication.

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