Bill Roth, Ulitzer Editor-at-Large

Bill Roth

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Quick Thoughts About the Demise of Pillar

I’ve been asked for our perspective on Pillar data being acquired for $0 cash and some earn out in the future, a disappointing outcome for a company that has spent well over $200 million. (note, Storage Newsletter pointed out on 6/30 that Oracle filings indicate the amount invested was $544 million)

Here’s what I’m telling journalists:
“Pillar’s demise is due to a legacy business model that is so wasteful of capital investment that it threatened to put a dent in the enormous fortune of their brilliant primary investor, Larry Ellison.  In approximately half the time and with less than one tenth the capital invested, Nexenta has achieved twice the number of commercial deployments as Pillar ever did.  Pillar may be the last of the big bets on do it all, vertically integrated, proprietary storage start-ups.  The model is rapidly being trumped by more open approaches.”

Second comment, more about the impact on customers:
“There is an inherent risk when investing in legacy storage technologies and business models - if your your vendor does not make it, you face a difficult decision: do you put your data and budget under strain by migrating your data out of one proprietary on disk format to another or do you deal with the business practices and technologies of the new owner and hope they continue to invest in your island of technology?  Enterprises roll the dice when they sink their data into the systems of proprietary vendors and sometimes pay a very steep price for their vendor lock in.”

Read the original blog entry...

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Bill Roth is a Silicon Valley veteran with over 20 years in the industry. He has played numerous product marketing, product management and engineering roles at companies like BEA, Sun, Morgan Stanley, and EBay Enterprise. He was recently named one of the World's 30 Most Influential Cloud Bloggers.