By Todd Erickson, News and Features Writer
Pivot3 is continuing its push in the virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) space by working closer with VMware.
Last week, Pivot3 announced that its virtual storage and compute (vSTAC) line of appliances for virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) environments for SMBs now support VMware’s View 5.1 virtual desktop system as part of the Pivot3’s participation in VMware’s Rapid Desktop Program.
According to Lee Casswell, Pivot3’s chief strategy officer, the Rapid Desktop Program and View 5.1’s new vCenter Operations for View (vCOV) and View Storage Accelerator (VSA) features will help speed SMB virtual desktop pilot programs and deployments.
Pivot3’s vSTAC appliances use a distributed RAID and grid computing infrastructure to allow individual appliance resources to be shared among an entire vSTAC deployment to better handle a VDI deployment’s need for increased input-output operations per second (IOPS) and easy scalability. Each vSTAC appliance can support 100 virtual desktops. To increase an environment’s number of virtual desktops, administrators add more appliances.
Casswell said View 5.1’s vCOV will benefit SMB virtual desktop deployments because it allows IT departments without dedicated storage or virtual desktop administrators to monitor individual desktop and system health, troubleshoot issues, and assign resources from one pane of glass.
The VSA is similar to vSphere’s Content Based Read Cache (CBRC) in that it takes advantage of linked clones by caching desktop image blocks to reduce storage I/O while reading View images, Casswell said. The VSA reduces performance bottlenecks and lowers storage costs.
Pivot3 is targeting state and local governments, education and remote offices and branch offices (ROBOs) of larger firms. The main driver for these markets, particularly education, is the increased use of personal computing devices in the classroom and business by end users, the so-called bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend.
“Users are expecting to use their own PCs,” Casswell said. That includes laptops, smartphones, and tablet computers. The IT administrators Casswell has talked with are shifting their focus away from standard desktop computing devices. “Rather than have to go and invest money in the end points, [administrators are] investing money in providing more intelligent centralized classroom designs,” Casswell said.
James Bagley, a senior analyst with the analyst firm Storage Strategies Now, believes Pivot3 has positioned itself well for its VDI-in-a-box solution. “They are targeting the right markets,” Bagley said. “Places where you have a medium-sized VDI environment and they’ve got a really easy way to address it.”
Bagley continued to say that the SMB VDI storage market has no clear leaders yet.
“I don’t know of anyone who right now really stands out,” Bagley explained. “All of the [storage] manufacturers right now are working on similar capabilities.”
Pivot3’s vSTAC View 5.1 support is available immediately with pricing starting at $350 per desktop, which includes all licensing fees.