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Hyper-converged infrastructure options, vendors and installation tips

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Pivot3 HCI software: Simplicity is the name of the game

IT expert Ed Tittel offers product details on Pivot3's vSTAC OS hyper-converged software and shares how it can help enterprises implement hyper-converged storage.

The Pivot3 vSTAC OS and its hyper-converged infrastructure family of appliances provide a virtual HyperSAN that combines compute, storage and networking resources across all of your nodes and virtual machines.

Features

Pivot3 aggregates all of the resources in a cluster into a single, shared infrastructure to provide high availability and performance with higher levels of fault tolerance compared to other replication-based hyper-convergence software vendors.

The vSTAC OS uses scalar erasure coding to provide fully distributed compute and storage services in a cluster and to support high levels of resilience, efficiency and availability. Scale out is linear, and performance and capacity improve with each node added to a cluster.

Users manage the hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) software through a single pane of glass that includes VMware integration. Nodes are preconfigured with management software that is self-optimizing, self-monitoring and self-healing.

Pivot3 touts guaranteed performance levels and the maximum use of all resources for vSTAC OS.

Simplicity and complexity

Pivot3 offers six product lines. Within the product spaces, it's easy to select and configure nodes and then to acquire them.

All Pivot3 nodes, regardless of type, can work together through the vSTAC OS software to function as a single cluster. The HCI software is simple and straightforward, with an intuitive and user-friendly interface.

Pivot3 appears to be one of the simplest and most straightforward HCI software options in the hyper-convergence market.

Clarity and intelligibility

Pivot3 offers plentiful resources that cover its HCI software including white papers, analyst reports, case studies, product documents, training videos, webinars and more.

Building blocks

A sizable number of appliance lines are offered including Pivot3 vSTAC SLX models for data centers, an all-flash enterprise HCI appliance for high-performance workloads, hyper-converged hybrid nodes with accelerated graphics and disaster recovery options, hyper-converged (Dell PowerEdge M630 and FX2) blades for extreme HCI density and a custom tailored Cisco Unified Computing System Mini offering.

Overhead and efficiency

The Pivot3 vSTAC OS natively combines compute, storage and virtualization resources in linear, per-node increments that can run any enterprise application.

The Pivot3 vSTAC OS natively combines compute, storage and virtualization resources in linear, per-node increments that can run any enterprise application. The use of erasure coding ensures you have high I/O and hypervisor access efficiency and the optimal use of available resources. The vSTAC OS also provides automatic load balancing and performance aggregation across a single shared storage pool with high fault tolerance. Claims of high or optimal performance make proof-of-concept implementation and testing incredibly important for prospective customers.

Pricing and licensing

Pricing information is by request, and Pivot3 is very open about costs. For a virtual desktop infrastructure scenario, cost per virtual desktop varies from less than $400 for a minimal configuration (Windows 10, 2 GB RAM, modest dual CPU cores at approximately 2 GHz and 40 GB storage) to more than $900 for a more robust configuration (Windows 10, 8 GB RAM, 4 CPU cores at 2.5+ GHz and 800 GB storage).

Support

Pivot3 offers multiple levels of support, each with a different fee structure:

  • Standard technical support offers 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekday phone, email or support portal access, as well as next-day parts delivery.
  • Premium support extends coverage to 24/7/365, keeps next-day parts delivery and adds direct submission of support requests to a support agent or support engineer through dial home capabilities.
  • Business Critical is the same as Premium, except it includes same-day parts delivery.

Special features and capabilities

Given the growing need for video storage from surveillance arrays, Pivot3 offers its Surveillance Series. Designed to accommodate massive volumes of high-definition IP video, this software-defined SAN storage and server infrastructure captures, organizes and delivers such data on demand where and as it's needed on any device in any location.

Next Steps

Eight factors to consider when evaluating hyper-converged storage vendors

Pivot3's acquisition of NexGen enables their expansion to hyper-converged storage

Pivot3's CEO discusses the firm's growth in the hyper-converged infrastructure market

This was last published in September 2016

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Essential Guide

Hyper-converged infrastructure options, vendors and installation tips

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