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New Pivot3 storage makes strategic play for SMB, ROBO users

Edge Office is the new Pivot3 storage for hyper-convergence at midsize companies and distributed enterprises. Modular configurations range from 1.6 TB to 6.4 TB per node.

Pivot3 is bringing its hyper-convergence to the edge with a vSTAC-enabled hyper-converged platform for midsize businesses and larger companies with remote branch offices.

The 1U Edge Office appliance is a smaller version of the 2U Pivot3 storage hardware, which bundles vSTAC software on commodity servers that house fixed disk and a flash acceleration tier.

Mike Koponen, senior director of product and solutions marketing at Pivot3, based in Austin, Texas, said storage management is especially challenging in distributed environments.

"Small businesses and remote offices have limited IT expertise, but there is a mix of applications they need to support. We're simplifying that. Pivot3 gives a single combined compute and storage infrastructure that is straightforward to deploy," Koponen said. 

Pivot3 will sell Edge Office as a modular configuration, ranging from 1.6 TB to 6.4 TB per node. Customers can purchase the Pivot3 storage as a three-node starter pack and build a cluster that scales to 38.4 TB of raw and 25.2 TB of usable storage in 1U. Administrators can manage up to six Edge Office nodes, or two clusters, as a single domain with vSTAC.

Starter packs range from about $40,000 to $90,000, depending on the chosen storage capacity. The price includes three years of Pivot3 premium support and subscription services. Pivot3 sells its hyper-converged systems exclusively through channel partners.

Customers could start with one Edge Office node with N+1 redundancy, but would need to add two nodes for a fully supported cluster. They then could add one-node increments up to six nodes.

Jeff Kato, a senior storage analyst with Taneja Group Inc., in Hopkinton, Mass., pointed out that companies can buy three Edge Office nodes for roughly the same price as two of Pivot3's 2U systems.

Edge Office models can be mixed with the vendor's larger enterprise nodes for replication and data protection of VMware virtual machines. Pivot3 storage applies scalar erasure coding for data reduction. The vendor does not support Microsoft Hyper-V or open source KVM hypervisors.

Pivot3 is trying to match competing hyper-converged vendors making inroads in small and midsize VMware shops. Nutanix offers its NX-1000 system, while SimpliVity Corp. sells its OmniCube CN-1200. Scale Computing aims its hyper-converged systems at SMBs and enterprises that prefer KVM virtualization.

"What you're seeing is a maturing of the hyper-converged market," Kato said. "Reaching down into the lower SMBs market is a natural evolution for vendors. The market has grown so quickly that [customer] awareness is going up across the board."

The move down market is the latest in a busy year for Pivot3. Storage quality of service was added to vSTAC this year following a merger with all-flash array vendor NexGen Storage.

"We're starting to see more customers buying us to support multiple virtualized workloads on a common Pivot3 storage infrastructure, which was NexGen's sweet spot," Koponen said.

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