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Hurd, quoting a recent IDC survey about the growth of storage, said that the amount of data stored by 2020 could hit 35,000 exabytes, or 3.5 zettabytes, a huge jump from the 1,200 exabytes, or 1.2 zettabytes, stored in 2010.
"You have a whole generation of people wanting access to that information, and want it immediately," he said during the press conference.
The current IT environment has applications, data, and storage managed separately, which will not work going forward, Hurd said. "All this retention of data will require tight integration. . . . The tightest integration is needed for the best performance," he said.
Dave Irvine, president of Irvine Consulting Services, an Emeryville, Calif.-based solution provider and long-time Pillar Data partner, said the vendor has terrific storage products which it has installed with several customers and in its own collocation center to provide a hybrid cloud solution for about a dozen customers who use it with virtual servers.
The only problem Irvine Consulting has ever had with Pillar Data was caused by Irvine himself. "I accidentally dislodged a cable," he said. "The Pillar phone home function called me. I called Pillar Data, and they told me they detected a performance degrading, probably from a cable problem. I went back, checked, and that was the problem."
While Pillar Data was a pioneer in developing application-aware storage, that advantage has eroded over time, Irvine said.
"We say to customers it's application-aware, and they say, 'So what?'" he said. "All the other storage companies have came out with their own versions of application-aware technology. So there's not such a big differentiation. However, with today's economy, the cost-per-terabyte is most important, and Pillar Data is not inexpensive."
Now that Oracle is acquiring Pillar Data, Irvine said he will take a wait-and-see attitude regarding how it acts as a partner going forward.
"My relationship with Pillar is based on people relationships," he said. "You can trust hardware to a certain point, but after that, it depends on the people. Some Pillar people are gone, some probably will leave, so I'll have to see what happens."