Tampa Bay Lightning Drafts Pillar Data Systems to Fuel its Microsoft Exchange Application

Pillar Axiom Keeps Lifeblood of the NHL Team's Operations Running

Dec 07, 2010, 11:00 ET from Pillar Data Systems

SAN JOSE, Calif., Dec. 7, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- When the puck dropped to signal the start of the 2010-2011 National Hockey League season, the Tampa Bay Lightning was ready to score big, both on and off the ice, thanks to a highly competitive team and a newly consolidated datacenter featuring a re-energized Microsoft Exchange environment. By unifying its storage on the Pillar Axiom, the Lightning has experienced a flawlessly performing application that serves as the core of the team's business operations.

The Lightning's previous storage system was de-centralized with data residing in many different silos. Prior to the beginning of last season, the organization set out to improve the efficiency of the IT department. The first order of business was to unify all of their storage systems and move to a virtualized environment. The Lightning evaluated storage products from EMC, LeftHand and NetApp before deciding to go with Pillar Data Systems for its Application-Aware capability, flexibility and simple management. With the Pillar Axiom, there is no need for a dedicated storage manager, which was crucial to the Lightning's small IT department.

With ticket sales being at the heart of the business, sales and marketing teams can customize all correspondence by having continuous access to current information. It's also common for a fan to email a ticket order for a game taking place that same evening, making it imperative to have a highly-available and reliable email system.

"Exchange is the lifeblood of our organization. Sales would be incapacitated and we'd lose thousands of dollars an hour if it went down, and that's unacceptable," said Ian Steele, IT Director, Tampa Bay Lightning. "Since we've moved our storage to the Pillar Axiom, Exchange has performed flawlessly and we've seen a tremendous improvement in just a few months."

Steele plans to consolidate 20 servers to four as part of a virtualization project, where he expects to cut energy costs by approximately $700.00 per month.

The Pillar Axiom is an ideal storage system for Microsoft Exchange deployments. Its Application-Aware capability and unified architecture tune the entire platform's resources to the needs of the applications based on priority. The result is high utilization rates that lead to greater efficiencies across the business.  

"Storage should exist to serve the applications that drive the business instead of pulling resources away from it, which is typical in many offerings on the market today. Storage that requires its own dedicated IT person to manage it should not be considered a 'solution,'" said Bob Maness, vice president worldwide marketing and channel sales for Pillar Data Systems. "Ian set the bar for his storage requirements and accepted nothing less. Now the Lightning's mission-critical, Exchange application can effectively perform its role in generating sales and revenue."

Pillar's Application-Aware Storage Solutions for Microsoft Exchange Server deployments provide:

  • Predictable performance to simplify planning for initial deployment and upgrades. Pillar's ESRP results show that the Axiom supports at least 2,125 mailboxes per Brick in small and large configurations. This takes away the guesswork associated with upgrading a typical storage solution.
  • Lowest Total Cost of Ownership through industry leading utilization rates in storage (guaranteed 80%), unique non-disruptive scaling and low power and space efficiency.
  • Simple management to reduce time-consuming complexity.

"Once we're finished with the storage and virtualization project, I'll be able to manage the servers from my cell phone and actually take a vacation," added Steele.

As a Microsoft Certified Gold Partner, Pillar Data Systems works closely with Microsoft to ensure Windows Hardware Compatibility Labs certification between the Axiom and all relevant software and operating systems. Additionally, Pillar has established strong alignment with Microsoft to ensure the Axiom line is certified with Microsoft Exchange and SQL.

Download: Pillar's Best Practices for Microsoft Exchange Whitepaper; Video Interview of Ian Steele, IT Director for Tampa Bay Lightning.

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 http://www.pillardata.com, by phone at 408-503-4000 or by email at sales@pillardata.com.

SOURCE Pillar Data Systems