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Virtualization Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Carmen Gonzalez, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski

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Pivot3 Unveils Hyper-Converged Blade Appliance

Pivot3, a leading supplier of hyper-converged solutions, is pleased to announce its Hyper-Converged Blade Appliance, an innovative solution that vastly simplifies modular VDI deployments for customers who want to achieve enterprise scalability with a very large number of users without the increased complexity and cost of external storage architectures.

The Pivot3 blade appliance uses Pivot3’s vSTAC OS software to define and control a common pool of storage capacity for all virtual machines, and to create a hyper-converged infrastructure that seamlessly fuses storage, compute and networking resources for a high-quality desktop experience

When implemented with Dell M820 Blades, the Pivot3 blade appliance delivers significantly increased density resulting in a reduced physical footprint with lower rack space requirements while achieving maximum performance and protection for dynamically scaled desktop deployments. The Pivot3 blade appliance uses the inherent energy efficiency of blades to support sustainable business practices with lower energy usage and lower cooling needs.

Benefits of Pivot3 vSTAC HCIA blade-based appliance:

  • Supports up to 10,000 virtual desktops in a single rack, 4x density improvement over conventional servers. This smaller footprint makes scale-out operations more efficient.
  • Combines compute, networking and storage resources into a single, efficient, self-contained structure. There are no storage bottlenecks with Pivot3’s unique grid connected local storage.
  • Maximizes CPU, memory and network utilization rates of the blade array as the Pivot3 platform dynamically aggregates, load-balances and optimizes storage, compute and network resources ensuring optimal performance.
  • Delivers up to 20% reduction in energy costs through power saving efficiency of the blade design.
  • Combines the scale-out flexibility of hyper-converged solutions with the investment protection of blades.

Buy as you grow

Pivot3’s entry in the VDI market with its vSTAC appliances, more than two years ago, has generated strong interest from users intent on harnessing the full power of virtualization.

The Pivot3 vSTAC R2S P-Cubed starter appliance was introduced to allow organizations to deploy a pilot environment of 100+ desktops in under one hour, while eliminating the storage sizing and configuration challenges commonly associated with VDI deployments.

The Pivot3 solution is designed for easy scaling through simple addition of vSTAC R2S appliances. The fail-safe nature of the vSTAC technology and the single point of control administration presents compelling value for VDI users.

“With the roll-out of the hyper-converged blade appliance, Pivot3 effectively delivers VDI to users for whom an investment in blades is a good fit. Vastly larger organizations can now experience the benefits of the vSTAC R2S appliance but in a denser hardware configuration that is more economical to operate while supporting up to tens of thousands of desktops,” said Mike Dunbar, Vice President of Pivot3’s Hyper-Converged Solutions business. “Our new blade appliance offers peace of mind to customers who administer massive desktop deployments. Our automatic re-allocation of hyper-converged resources allows for multiple drive failures or even complete compute node failures with rapid reparation as components come back online. Quite simply, we are a much more capacity efficient virtual SAN”

With Pivot3 vSTAC® hyper-converged appliances, all storage and performance resources are shared across the virtual desktops, but with the ultimate protection of high availability for compute, network, and storage. Unlike alternative architectures that require anticipation of future growth when buying conventional shared storage, Pivot3 deployments elastically grow as workloads increase simply by adding additional appliances. Customers can their limit investment to the capacity they need right now when initiating a VDI project; changes in desktop usage are seamlessly and economically accommodated as needs grow. Pivot3’s technology load balances, manages and converges all hosting resources.

Increased ROI and lower TCO

Pivot3 solutions improve IT efficiency. The blade appliance concept greatly decreases the time it takes to architect, plan and manage a virtual desktop environment, specifically for high-volume applications. The solution automates routine IT tasks, leaving more time for higher value IT work. Additionally, the vSTAC OS dramatically improves storage efficiency by providing up to 92% usable storage capacity as compared to 50% or less in other hyper-converged infrastructures.

The Pivot3 blade appliance is managed by the vSTAC OS software, which runs on the hypervisor, converging all the blade resources across the cluster to provide maximum system availability. The vSTAC OS creates a true common storage pool, which distributes data and volume across all storage resources in the cluster. Distribute erasure coding calculates parity internally to each blade and distributes across the cluster to protect against storage failures in a significantly more efficient manner than other scale-out appliances that only offer simple replication.

“We’ve designed our vSTAC OS to dynamically adapt the storage required for desktop virtualization workloads, while simplifying deployment and enhancing the user experience,” said Bill Galloway, CTO and Co-Founder, Pivot3. “For blade-based, high-density virtual desktop installations, the Pivot3 vSTAC HCIA blade appliance provides an extremely cost-effective and easy-to-deploy solution that meets the needs of current and future VDI environments.”

Pivot3 blade appliances leverage the latest release of vSTAC OS software, which includes:

  • ElastiCache™ employing 4-64 GB RAM and SSD flash tier for read and write caching
  • Building block modular scalability
  • Automatically load balances, protects and aggregates resources across the array and across desktops sharing all resources at all times
  • Superior maintenance and software upgrade experience. If an appliance is taken offline, VM’s migrate to an available space and continue to function with no downtime.

To learn more about Pivot3, visit the company’s Web site or stop by booth #947 at VMworld in San Francisco.

Additional Resources

Pivot3 Hyper-Converged Infrastructure

Pivot3 vSTAC OS

Pivot3 vSTAC R2S for Virtual Desktop Environments

Pivot3 at VMworld Booth 947

About Pivot3

Pivot3 was founded in 2003 on the idea that today's stack of virtual servers, shared storage and networks could be converged to drive down complexity and cost while dramatically increasing scale-out performance. Today, Pivot3 has more than 1,000 customers across the globe deploying Pivot3 vSTAC® hyper-converged appliances. Pivot3 products are heavily deployed in the video surveillance and virtual desktop markets, and have seen particular success in the public sector, transportation, gaming, education, healthcare and retail vertical segments. The company has won numerous awards and was most recently selected by Forbes Magazine in 2013 as “One of America’s Most Promising Companies,” and by CRN in their top 50 Virtualization list for 2014. To learn more about Pivot3, visit www.pivot3.com.

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