Pivot3 - a different take on unified computing

Pivot3's Lee Caswell and I spoke about a different take on unified computing architectures and storage centric computing. Lee and I crossed paths while he was with Sun Microsystems.
Written by Dan Kusnetzky, Contributor

Pivot3's Lee Caswell and I spoke about a different take on unified computing architectures and storage centric computing. Lee and I crossed paths while he was with Sun Microsystems. Furthermore, Pivot3's take includes memory virtualization/distributed caching elements as well.

Here's how Pivot3 describes itself

Pivot3 was founded in 2003 on the idea that a revolutionary scale-out architecture would deliver large-scale, high-bandwidth storage using off-the-shelf hardware components combined with specialized software.

The company’s award-winning products are deployed worldwide in the government, public sector, transportation, gaming and education markets. All products rely on the innovative RAIGE (RAID across Gigabit Ethernet) architecture.

In 2008, Pivot3 launched the Serverless Computing product line, the first and only storage solution to consolidate server applications into an IP SAN platform. Serverless Computing server consolidation benefits to I/O-intensive, CPU-heavy applications for significant savings in power, cooling, rack space and cost.

Snapshot analysis

The use of virtual machine software to create virtual servers or virtual desktops; such configurations supported by Citrix's XenServer, Microsoft's Hyper-V or VMware's ESX Server; has had many consequences. One of the more interesting is suppliers rethinking both server and client configurations.

Suppliers, such as Dell, eGenera, HP, IBM and the like, have developed highly redundant, compute intense, dense server configurations - usually called blade computers. This approach is sound for compute intensive environments.

Cisco's approach is to adds a cage allowing a blade computing environment to be included in an organization's networking equipment in the hopes of creating a more easily manageable and lower cost environment.  This approach is sound if the environment is more networking focused.

Pivot3's approach is similar, but Pivot3 is adding computing to the storage infrastructure rather than the networking infrastructure. This approach might be the best in a storage-intense environment.

Which is right? I guess we're going to have to wait for the market to decide where computing modules belong in the next generation datacenter.

Unasked for shoot from the hip advice

Pivot3, your technology appears to have many benefits to those having storage intensive or data intensive workloads. The key question in my mind is how to help people understand what you're doing, why it is better for their workloads and why taking this path, rather than those offered by others, would save their organizations money while still offering them the flexibility they require. You've got your work cut out for you, that's clearly evident.

Let's see, one of your executives could write an acclaimed book on the topic. Unless Lee is an accomplished author, that one is not likely to work.

You could create a cartoon series showing organizations in trouble and how "Pivot3 - Storage Man/Woman/Boy/Girl/Cat/Dog" flies in to save the day. This might be a bit easier to do. I imagine it would be fairly easy to find a cat that would act in this series for a few cans of tuna daily.

You could create low cost, funny, white papers, podcasts, youtube videos and the like to get the same message across. That might be a bit easier to do than creating a whole cartoon series! Each of these could be linked together via network pointers and all could link back to specific pages on your Website. You could still use the cat if desired.

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