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Q&A: Discussing vSTAC VDI with Lee Caswell, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Pivot3

Today, Pivot3, a leading provider of unified storage and compute appliances based on commodity hardware, introduced Pivot3 vSTAC VDI, the company's stackable virtual desktop infrastructure appliance designed to make VMware View an easier experience. 

To find out more about the company's technology and offering, I had the chance to speak with Lee Caswell, Pivot3's founder and chief strategy officer.   

VMblog:  Pivot3 is more commonly known for its success in the video surveillance market.  What prompted you to make the jump into the unified storage industry?

Lee Caswell:  We started out in the video surveillance industry in 2003 with the Pivot3 STAC, introducing an innovative unified storage and compute approach where virtualized server applications (video management systems) and shared storage coexist on the same commodity hardware resources in order to reduce both cost and complexity. Given our focus on simplifying and unifying storage networks with virtualized compute resources, it was a natural progression to leverage our software innovations to address the evolving needs of the unified storage industry and to help eliminate storage as a VDI obstacle.

VMblog:  In your opinion, what's the biggest obstacle enterprises face when deploying VDIs?  And how does Pivot3 vSTAC solve this problem?

Caswell:  The biggest obstacle facing VDI deployments today is the enterprise’s need to deploy both a simple and affordable virtual desktop infrastructure to non-SAN experts. Our solution and appliance delivers radical end user simplicity by completely eliminating any need for SAN expertise and allowing users to focus only on the number of desktops they wish to deploy. Pivot3’s VDI solution provides incremental scalability from proof of concept to production, providing users with predictable ROI and eliminating the need for large up front investments.

VMblog:  We hear a lot about the larger enterprise shops, but what are some of the benefits of unified storage in SME environments?

Caswell:  What we saw in the video surveillance market place was that the unification of storage and compute on the same commodity appliance drove both significant cost savings and complexity reduction. The big issue in the Virtual Desktop world has to do with the complexity of implementing a SAN together with independent servers. SME customers don’t have specialized SAN skills and are looking for solutions that are quick to deploy, inexpensive, converged and don’t require a high degree of specialization.  

VMblog:  Your product is being offered through Pivot3’s Production Pilot Program (P3). Can you tell us what the program entails and how it will benefit your customers?

Caswell:  The vSTAC™ P3 rapid desktop production pilot program for VMware View is designed to provide IT desktop professionals with the ability to quickly and easily pilot a Pivot3 vSTAC VDI. Certified through the VMware Rapid Desktop Program, P3 provides customers with a pre-configured, VDI-ready pilot solution for 50 to 100 virtual desktops that provides for a simple and affordable customer experience. Best of all customers can continue to scale their pilot seamlessly into production by simply adding additional appliances. There is no boundary between pilot and production, that’s why we’ve called this program: Pivot3 Production Pilot.

The vSTAC P3 program includes two vSTAC VDI appliance SKUs:

Pivot3 vSTAC VDI "P3 starter appliance”: A self contained ready-to-deploy starter appliance for 50 to 100 desktop production pilots which includes pre-configured trial licenses of VMware View, vCenter Server, Microsoft Windows 2008 Server

Pivot3 vSTAC VDI “standard appliance”: The ability to dynamically and automatically scale out a VDI environment by adding additional appliances each with a capacity of more than 100 desktops

VMblog:  Can you tell us what the future plans are for Pivot3 as you expand in the VDI market?

Caswell:  Our plans are to continue to make our VDI solution more and more consumable, affordable and performing such that we will continue to lead in the cost per desktop linear scale out. While everyone understands the promise of VDI, delivering it in a repeatable, scalable, channel and customer friendly manner will keep us busy for a while. Other important areas of focus will be to continue to push the out-of-box experience and packaged fit into a variety of vertical markets.

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Thanks again to Lee Caswell, founder and chief strategy officer at Pivot3, for taking the time out to speak with VMblog.

Published Wednesday, October 19, 2011 6:22 AM by David Marshall
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