First State Bank & Trust Invests in Pillar Data Systems to Keep Business-critical Applications Up and Running

—Pillar Axiom is Platform for Improved Disaster Recovery, Higher Useable Capacity and Virtualization Project—

Oct 20, 2010, 11:00 ET from Pillar Data Systems

SAN JOSE, Calif., Oct. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- First State Bank & Trust in Kansas had a disaster recovery plan in place to protect its mainframe functions, which served its purpose, until recently. With the advent of the digital age and online financial applications becoming the crux of the business, the bank needed to expand its disaster recovery strategy while also freeing up needed storage capacity. To that end, the bank selected Pillar Data Systems as its storage platform to support its IT and business goals.

Harry M. Wheeler Jr., Senior Vice President, First State Bank & Trust determined that the applications on the network – check imaging, remote deposits, customer account inquiries and online banking, among others, had become mission-critical to the bank's business. As such, the bank's storage requirements had doubled in the past 18 months.

"We added applications one by one over a stretch of time and one day realized if these applications aren't available, the bank can't function," said Wheeler. "The heart of the business used to be in the mainframe where statements and ledgers are produced. Now the heart is the network where all of the applications reside - applications depended on by bank staff and customers."  

First State Bank didn't have the luxury of being able to dedicate staff for the tasks at hand. It enlisted the help of its technology partner, Choice Solutions who helped plot out the course for the new IT strategy. Its first step was to recommend the Pillar Axiom for the storage component. Aside from the need to fortify its disaster recovery plan, Wheeler also wanted to virtualize 13 servers with the goal of increasing useable capacity and decreasing total cost of ownership.

Now, only 60 days after beginning the process, First State Bank is replicating in real-time and the recovery period went from five days to two hours. In addition to its new and improved disaster recovery strategy, the bank experienced a significant increase in useable capacity, which turned into immediate and substantial cost savings. And with the virtualization project complete, Wheeler was able to get rid of one and a half racks, significantly reducing the heat output, as well as reducing overall software costs.

"As Harry and his team have discovered, the Axiom can fit into any business in any industry. It's designed to be a platform for robust applications, virtualized environments and disaster recovery plans with no separate management interfaces or configurations required," said Bob Maness, Vice President Worldwide Marketing, Pillar Data Systems. "Every organization, no matter how big or small, benefits from being able to use the capacity that it needs and that it purchased. Higher utilization alleviates the pressure on the applications, the network and the bottom line. It's a simple concept that should be as easy to achieve as it was for First State Bank."

With less time needed to manage the servers, Wheeler can better serve employees and stay focused on bank operations. The I/O use in graphical format with a dashboard that shows LUNs for specific servers was particularly helpful, especially as the two-person IT team juggles many different responsibilities.

"We have to rely heavily on our vendors because we have too many other pressing, bank-related responsibilities," added Wheeler.

Pillar's Application-Aware Storage Solutions for the Financial Services industry provide:

  • Disaster Recovery - Disk-based storage and accurate replication assure rapid failover and restores in case of disruption  
  • Regulatory Compliance - Affordable disk-to-disk archive guarantees data integrity while maintaining data accessibility  
  • Reduced Costs - Industry-standard components and no hidden licensing fees dramatically reduce total cost of ownership over traditional storage systems

About Pillar Data Systems

Founded in 2001, Pillar Data Systems develops Application-Aware Storage systems for midsize and enterprise organizations. With the highest utilization rates in the storage industry, the Pillar Axiom solution is the most efficient storage system on the market today. The Pillar Axiom cuts administrative time and total cost of ownership by more than 50 percent as well as provides the only storage system that can differentiate services based on application priority. Designed from the ground up as the only true Application-aware Storage system, the Pillar Axiom allows users to match multiple application characteristics to the appropriate service levels within a single storage platform. Pillar Data Systems is privately funded by Tako Ventures, LLC, the venture arm of Larry Ellison.  The company is headquartered at 2840 Junction Avenue, San Jose, California 95134. The company can be reached on the Web at, by phone at 408-503-4000 or by email at

SOURCE Pillar Data Systems