Pivot3 Unveils Hyperconverged Infrastructure for the Rugged Edge

The company’s Intelligent Edge Command and Control offering is a hardened, self-contained solution aimed at harsh environments, like battlefields.

Pivot3 Edge System

Pivot3, a smaller vendor in the crowded hyperconverged infrastructure market, is turning its attention to the needs of the military, intelligence agencies and other organizations that need secure, resilient and fast data processing as they run their tactical operations in harsh environments.

The company on Aug. 28 unveiled its Intelligent Edge Command and Control solution, which enables organizations that operate in extreme environments to collect, store, process and analyze data immediately in the field, rather than having to send the data back to a central data center or a public cloud. The ruggedized hyperconverged infrastructure solution can be used for a broad range of situations, from oil and gas exploration to mining operations.

However, the self-contained system that is being tested currently is designed with the military in mind, according to Bruce Milne, chief marketing officer at Pivot3. It’s being tested in sea trials, Milne told eWEEK, though he declined to name the agency using it.

“The purpose of that particular solution … is the ability to take mission packages and drop them in as a node, so you can slide in a node that includes the entire mission package for not just a particular vehicle, but an entire sortie, an entire convoy,” Milne said.

“Now everybody’s got the same sortie package, and that includes logistics, it includes the geographic maps, it includes the entire bundle. It’s hardened,” he said. “You just put the cap on the front, it’s already got its power supply and top-of-rack switches and everything’s already integrated into it, and it’s optimized for that smaller form factor because space is at such a premium. The idea is that four Marines can batten that thing up and run it to whatever environment they need to and they have an instant data center.”

The growing use of intelligent connected devices by organizations—often in remote and harsh environments—and the need to analyze and act on the massive amounts of data being generated by these devices are increasing the demand for compact solutions that can operate at the network edge and have the compute and storage capabilities to process the data on site. According to IDC analysts, by 2020, spending on edge infrastructure will account for 18 percent of all the money spent on infrastructure for the internet of things (IoT). Driving this trend is the deployment of converged systems that are designed to enable organizations to more quickly get value from their connected devices, the analysts said.

Tech vendors are building out their portfolios with systems designed to bring the processing, storage and network to edge environments where those devices reside and where the data is being generated. In May, Hewlett Packard Enterprise officials introduced new tested and validated hardware architectures based on the company’s Edgeline EL1000 and EL4000 systems that will run full and unmodified enterprise workloads at the edge rather than having to send data to the cloud or data center. The systems are designed to withstand difficult operating conditions, such as those found on ships during oil and gas explorations.

Pivot3 officials said the need for such edge computing capabilities will only grow as more companies use IoT-enabled smart devices for their operations, from body cameras to virtual desktop infrastructures (VDI) to sensors.

“Customers are moving more and more out to the edge because of the increased requirement for analytics, things like facial [recognition], license plate recognition [LPR], loitering detection, even just the basics, like we’re doing [with] the tollway in Mexico and LPR at the kiosk that allows them to process the transactions quickly and automatically bill customers as opposed to moving it to a central location and batch process it later on,” Milne said.

Pivot3’s Intelligent Edge Command and Control solution, which will be available in the fourth quarter, includes NVMe flash for storage, is designed with in a SWaP (space, weight and power)-optimized form factor and is based on the vendor’s Intelligent Engine, which is designed to ensure contention for resources is eliminated and resources are prioritized. It gives users a single place for managing and scaling infrastructures across on-premises, edge and cloud architectures and automates data and workload movement.

Pivot3 has seen revenue growth increases of 70 percent a year for the past three years, and the trend toward IoT and edge computing fits well with the company’s history of developing technologies that enable users to quickly ingest data, verification, security and resilience, Milne said.

“We’ve been doing this for 15 years at the edge, moving more and more compute out to the edge, and this is especially true with IoT, where a lot of sensor data is being collected,” he said. “But they want the analytics to happen out there on the edge, so we’re moving more processing power out there, too. So instead of trying to find a fat pipe to get all that data back to a central processing capability, what we’re seeing is customers saying, ‘Let’s just move more compute power out to the edge. I want a resilient, hardened platform … out there at the edge.’”