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PRODUCT ANALYSIS: Pivot3’s solutions are designed to meet the stringent requirements of modern data centers across use cases that include cloud computing, IoT, edge computing, and remote/branch office environments.

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Company Name: Pivot3?(hyperconverged infrastructure and hybrid cloud solutions)

Company description: Pivot3 is a privately-held company led by CEO Ron Nash. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Pivot3 has offices in Houston, Boulder, Dubai, Mexico City and throughout the UK and APAC regions. It has more than 2,600 customers in 63 countries and over 20,000 deployments in education, hospitality, transportation, government, healthcare, defense, financial services, retail and others.

As an early pioneer in hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI), Pivot3 was founded in 2003 by industry veterans from Compaq, VMware and Adaptec and ushered in the ability for enterprises to achieve high data storage capacity, increase efficiency and lower CAPEX and OPEX. Since shipping its first HCI platform in early 2008, Pivot3 has solidified its place as a technology leader for hyperconverged infrastructure, appearing as one of the top vendors in the Forrester Wave for HCI. Pivot3 also recently made a dramatic leap in ability to execute on the Gartner Magic Quadrant for HCI, positioned alongside large and established technology infrastructure vendors.

Pivot3’s solutions are designed to meet the stringent requirements of modern data centers across use cases that include cloud computing, IoT, edge computing, and remote/branch office environments. Pivot3’s modern NVMe-optimized architecture delivers superior performance while improving VM densities by up to two to three times. This lowers the total infrastructure footprint and costs associated with it. Additionally, Pivot3’s policy-based priority-aware Intelligence Engine allows customers to confidently consolidate workloads of varying business criticality and performance requirements on a common shared HCI platform. As a result, Pivot3 has seen success, growth and rapid adoption across a wide range of use cases, markets and geographies.

Markets: Pivot3’s key markets include: Hyperconverged infrastructure for hybrid cloud, datacenter modernization, virtual desktop infrastructure, big data analytics, IoT, smart/safe cities, availability and business continuity. Pivot3 primarily serves mid-market to large enterprise customers, schools and universities, and local, state and federal governments in North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Southeast Asia.

International Operations: Pivot3’s global presence includes offices in the United States, United Kingdom, Mexico, Dubai and Japan.

Product and Services

Datacenter Series: Reduce costs and complexity by consolidating multiple applications – including mission-critical – on a common infrastructure. With a multi-tier architecture powered by NVMe flash and optimized by an Intelligence Engine, Pivot3’s Datacenter Series delivers consistent, predictable performance and simplified management to support on-premises or hybrid cloud strategies. Products include:

  • X5-6000 2U flash HCI appliance
  • X5-2000 2U hybrid HCI appliance
  • X3-6000 1U flash HCI appliance
  • X3-2000 1U hybrid HCI appliance

Surveillance Series: Purpose-built for demanding, data-intensive video workloads of any size, Pivot3’s Surveillance Series provides the highest levels of performance, resilience and availability so critical video data is stored without loss, protected from any failure and always available when and where it is needed most. Products include:

  • Large-scale 2U surveillance appliance
  • V-2000 2U surveillance appliance
  • Edge Protect 1U surveillance appliance
  • V5-2000s 2U storage appliance
  • V5-6400 virtual security appliance

Pivot3 Professional Services: This offers customers the opportunity to leverage a team of certified, experienced Solutions Architects to ensure maximum value realization from their investment. Pivot3’s implementation services begin with analysis and design with your team, with Solutions Architects configuring both hardware and software.

Key Features

NVMe PCIe flash-optimized datapath: This accelerates performance, improves response times, increases density and reduces CAPEX and OPEX.

Policy-based QoS: Five flexible QoS policies can be assigned to each workload, without having to know exact performance requirements.

Erasure coding: Pivot3’s patented erasure coding maximizes system capacity, efficiency and resilience.

Data services, including native replication and data reduction.

Product Analysis

Gartner Peer Reviews had 70 Pivot3 product reviews as of Jan. 17. Forty-one of the vSTAC Hyperconverged product’s reviews were five-star (highest) ratings. Here are example comments:

Review #1 (four stars), overall comment: “Sales and installation were exceptional. Project management was a bit lacking: Our assigned PM misinformed us and their own team of a couple of items which led to some confusion on both ends. Neither were game-breaking but frustrating nonetheless. I must admit, our timeline from purchase to implementation was hastened, which I'm sure did not help. Using the product past installation has been fairly intuitive. We have only had to place 2 calls to support since. The end result of both calls were satisfactory, once escalated to tier 2. Tier 1 support needs to be eliminated completely as they are of no help and only add to frustration. Tier 2 support thus far has been exceptional.”

What do you like most about the product or service? “The Pivot3 VMware plugin is ... okay. It could use some polishing. You can tell it is not well baked yet, but the potential is still there. With regard to support, I sincerely hope they reevaluate the need for their old tiered model. Having some experts available to the support reps for complicated matters is one thing. Having a tier 1 just because that's how others do it is another, especially when that tier 1 has proven to be no more than the people which collect case details before passing it up to tier 2. This model is outdated and only adds to frustration of having to place a support call in the first place.”

Review #2 (four stars), overall comment: “We have implemented the product successfully within the two days allotted. The system is integrated into our environment and ready to go. The technical knowledge of the implementation team was stellar. Our questions were answered in a timely and well-mannered fashion. The sales department was able to provide information we needed in a timely manner, and with a very tight timeline for implementation. Our sales rep came onsite to make sure the implementation went as expected. There were two items that did not match our expectations: The pre-planning of the project was a little weak. At one point we were led to believe that our order was on sight, when in fact, it was sent to final testing. We needed to contact tech support to make a configuration change after the implementation and unrelated to any technical issues, and the initial tech was apparently new. All was fine once we landed at the second level tech support. A follow-up call on a clarification was also a bit shaky with the first level tech.”

IT Central Station has one peer review. Comments:

What is your primary use case? “The primary use case was for a persistent VDI solution using vSphere as the hypervisor software and using Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop as the provisioning software in an enterprise Windows server domain infrastructure.”

How has it helped your organization? “It greatly streamlined the time it took to scale out the enterprise and it completely eliminated the need for a SAN/Storage engineer, with the simplicity the Pivot3 Stack Manager brought with it for managing storage.”

What is most valuable? “One feature we found useful was the product's complete ability to integrate with vCenter, since all of our admins and engineers came from VMware backgrounds.”

What needs improvement? “Until recently, one of the biggest problems with HCI vendors was the lack of flexibility for adding resources. For instance, if you only needed more storage, you would have to buy another node which would come with extra compute and memory that you might not need.”

For how long have you used the solution? “One to three years.”

Based on eWEEK’s assessment of a combination of peer reviews and IT analyst reports over the span of three years, Pivot3 earns a 4.5-star rating (out of five stars).

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List of current customers: Customers include Charleston Airport, Caesars Entertainment EMEA, Iron Mountain and City of Bogotá, Colombia.

Delivery: Pivot3 is available as a turnkey appliance or a software offering that is supported on a set of qualified server models and vendors. Its software license is available at a one-time fee, while its support services are available as annual subscriptions. Pivot3 offers professional services that can deliver initial deployment services, among others.

Pricing: For information, call 1-877-5-Pivot3

Other key players in this market: Dell EMC, Nutanix, HPE, Cisco, VMware

Contact information for potential customers: Website: https://pivot3.com; phone: 1-877-5-Pivot3

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...