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Pivot3 VDI appliance goes Horizon-tal

Pivot3 upgrades its vSTAC virtual desktop infrastructure appliance and ships a version pre-configured with VMware Horizon Suite.

Pivot3 Inc. this week upgraded its virtual desktop infrastructure storage appliances, including one that ships with the VMware Horizon Suite VDI software pre-configured.

The vSTAC R2S is the latest version of Pivot3's virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) appliance, while the vSTAC R2S P Cubed comes with VMware Horizon View, Horizon Mirage and Horizon Workspace loaded and configured.

Leah Schoeb, a senior partner at Boulder, Colo.-based research firm Evaluator Group Inc., said the Horizon integration could be the most valuable feature of the new release. "Deploying VMware Horizon can be a hair-raising experience," Schoeb said. "It's not plug-and-play. It has a lot of moving pieces and parts and it's not easy to deal with. What they've done is pre-installed and preconfigured it so you're up and running in an hour."

VMware View creates the virtual desktops while Mirage allows IT to separate the PC into logical layers owned and managed by either IT or the end user. Mirage gives IT the ability to update individual layers without disruption to other layers so end-user data and applications are up to date. Workspace combines data, applications and desktops into a single aggregated workspace.

The appliances are built on the Dell PowerEdge R720 server platform.

"We have the ability to deliver converged software on commodity hardware," said Olivier Thierry, Pivot3's chief marketing officer. "We take an enterprise server and create a storage array. We create a SAN across independent nodes. We converge storage and compute and virtualize it into a single pool of storage. It's peer-to-peer and we do distributed parity."

The vSTAC R2S VDI appliance supports from 117 to154 virtual desktops per appliance. The previous STAC R2 generation supported from 95 to 125 virtual desktops. The new vSTAC R2S offers 12 TB, 24 TB or 36 TB of capacity, and 128 GB, 256 GB or 384 GB of RAM.

Like its predecessor -- the vSTAC R2 VDI appliance -- the R2S offers 50 GB of single-level cell, solid-state drive write cache. Customers can cluster 12 vSTAC R2S systems.

Pivot3's vSTAC VDI appliances use the same operating system as the vendor's vSTAC hyper-converged system -- known as vSTAC Watch -- that combines storage and compute and is used primarily for video surveillance. But while the surveillance system is optimized for bandwidth, the VDI system is optimized for high IOPS.

Pivot R2S is priced at $31,999, while Pivot R2S P Cubed is $34,999. General availability is scheduled for October.

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