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Network storage systems provider Pillar Data Systems is expanding beyond its midmarket roots with systems that target both small businesses and larger enterprises.

New enhancements and configurations options in its Axiom Storage line will give entry-level customers a full data services suite and larger customers a more high-availability infrastructure.

At the small-to-medium end of the spectrum, AxiomONE allows users to have a single storage management view, and protocol flexibility though the use of Fibre Channel, iSCSI SANS or NAS.

The company has focused on scalability, by making the system able to grow from 1.6TB to 24TB, and emphasizes easy data migration from other systems or within the Axiom Storage platform.

“Fundamentally, it’s the same architecture for SMBs as for larger customers,” said Russ Kennedy, Pillar’s senior director of marketing and strategy.

In order to set a lower price that would prove compelling to SMBs, some of the software features were made optional, such as different protocol options.

For larger customers, the expanded Axiom configuration includes Fibre Channel drives with better performance within the platform, faster backup, double the NAS performance, and improved availability with non-disruptive firmware upgrades, according to Pillar.

The high-end system focuses more strongly on capacity planning, path management and replication with enhanced data protection, Kennedy said.

Particularly notable in the enterprise system is the addition of SecureWORMs, a feature designed to address compliance needs.

The function allows customers to define specific timeframes for data deletion.

Even if an employee attempts to delete files, for example, the system can be configured to disallow such a move if it conflicts with compliance mandates.

Launching both entry-level and enterprise enhancements at the same time was always part of the Axiom plan, Kennedy said.

Pillar’s original push was into the midmarket, but the company felt that the flexibility of its architecture would allow both expansion into the enterprise realm as well as more cost-effective options for smaller business.

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“This broadens our reach into the marketplace,” Kennedy said. “We can reach a larger audience, and give them access. Because of our initial architecture, it wasn’t that difficult to expand in other directions.”

The move both up market and down market is indicative of more traction at Pillar, said IDC Storage Software research manager Rhoda Phillips.

“They’re getting their act together, and seem to have a better strategy in place,” she said. “They’re getting more focus and making headway.”

An important component of both plays is an emphasis on simplification, she added.

“There’s a greater emphasis on consolidation, and getting away from the complexity that can come with storage,” she noted. “They’ve got a consistent message now.”

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