Offering (or at least talking about) a hybrid cloud service has become almost a requirement for hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) software vendors. And now Pivot3 has joined the party with its Cloud Edition on Amazon Web Services (AWS). The platform allows customers to run the same HCI stack in AWS and in on-premises data centers.
“A lot of the features customers like in our hyperconverged software platform running in on-premises environments around policy automation and workload prioritization, they can now take advantage of that in a cloud environment,” said Ben Bolles, VP of products at Pivot3.
Support for Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud will come later this year, he said.
The primary uses cases with this edition, which will be generally available in the second half of this year, include backup and disaster recovery. Using AWS eliminates the need to stand up a second data center or co-location facility.
Intelligent Cloud Engine
The new platform also uses something that Pivot3 calls its Intelligent Cloud Engine. It builds on the company’s policy-based quality of service (QoS) engine, which automates data placement and data protection tasks based on service level agreements and business priorities.
“The Intelligent Cloud Engine essentially is putting a name on all the capabilities we have for our policy-based management, and all the work we do around data protection and data management,” Bolles said.
The company plans to add an archive use case.
“We’ll have policies built around that so that our software will automatically figure out what data should reside on premises and what data should go up to the cloud,” Bolles said. “Being able to automate workloads’ movements based on the policies customers set within our software — that would be a main difference compared to VMware or others that might run on AWS or Azure.”
HCI Stacks for Hybrid Cloud
Most leading HCI software vendors already have a hybrid cloud play. VMware Cloud on AWS launched about six months ago. Microsoft Azure Stack, which lets enterprises build a private-cloud version of the Azure public cloud in their own data centers, began shipping last September.
Is Pivot3 too late to the hybrid cloud game?
“It is definitely not too late for Pivot3,” said Mike Leone, a senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. “The Pivot3 hybrid cloud approach is slightly different and more intelligent that many of its competitors.”
The difference, he said, is the company’s policy-based management, which can be used to optimize resource utilization. “And with resource utilization being the key cost component in the cloud, the more intelligent that resource utilization can be managed the better,” Leone said.
Smarter Hybrid Cloud?
Eric Slack, a senior analyst at Evaluator Group, agreed.
“Pivot3’s taking the right approach, and that’s what important in the long term,” Slack said. “VMware has a pretty good story. Nutanix has a head start on a lot of folks, too. But in terms of what Pivot3 is doing, they’ve been talking about automated policy management and their quality of service engine for three years. They are using that same intelligence, that same decision making [in the new hybrid cloud platform] so that cloud just becomes one more destination to put stuff.”
Slack said Pivot3’s technology is sound, and its policy engine differentiates it from other HCI software stacks.
“I don’t think they’ve gotten as much traction in the market on their quality of service engine,” Slack said. “But one of the things about that kind of technology: it lends itself to analytics. And that’s the kind of thing people are looking for in a cloud infrastructure.”