Pivot3 unveils new ruggedized HCI hybrid cloud solution for ‘tactical edge’ operations

The big opportunity here is for Pivot3 partners who sell into the military/intel part of the U.S. defense space, but other NATO countries can be sold it as well, and it also has other use cases in rugged environments.

Hyperconverged [HCI] vendor Pivot3 has announced the immediate availability of their Intelligent Edge Command and Control solution, a new ruggedized hybrid cloud solution aimed principally at defense and intelligence deployments at the ‘tactical edge,’ although they also expect they will be sold into other extreme environments such as remote mining locations. It is expected to be used in analytics, VDI and Internet of Things use cases, for which it is optimized.

“What we were asked to do was formally productize a solution which could be taken into harsh environments and which would fit into something the size of a Bradley armored vehicle,” said Bruce Milne, Pivot3’s CMO. “It’s the culmination of a couple of years of research efforts.”

“The platform has variations in form factors depending on the force we are supporting,” Milne said. “Some spaces have less space in their environment, and require a shortened set of racks. A competitor’s product caught fire in testing because they ran too dense a platform in too small a space. It’s not a good idea to start a fire on a submarine.”

A key piece of a ruggedized HCI deployment is resilience, Milne indicated.

“Resilience and failover capacity are critical in this sort of solution,” he said. “We have also built in a lot of intelligence to automatically notify users of a pending failure before it happens. The solution is also fully weather-proofed and sealed.”

Intelligent Edge Command and Control’s capabilities are designed to enable a specific set of challenging edge use cases.

“With the military, for example, the idea is to be able to provide complete portability of mission packages,” Milne stated. “They will be able to fully load the image of a mission on a node, with all the logistics packages, apps, and engineering diagrams present on the mission control package. In the version for land forces, the solution is specifically designed to set up a dynamic command and control module as well.”

Milne indicated that the Intelligent Edge Command and Control solution is designed for large-scale deployments.

“It’s not designed to sell onesies and twosies,” he said. “It’s designed for volume refits of entire fleets, as an example.”

While Milne estimated that about 75 per cent of these will go to defense and Intel use cases, they aren’t the only likely market.

“It can be applied to other rugged environments like the mines of Mexico, where we have customers,” he said.

Pivot3 sells entirely through channel partners, but the biggest opportunity here will be with partners who sell into the U.S. federal space.

“The key channel here is the one optimized for the federal space – mainly intel and defense,” Milne said. “We have a burgeoning new practice in the civilian area of the federal government, but it’s just getting started. Key partners here are integrators and the parts of DMR partners that are focused on the government market.”

The U.S. defense establishment represents the great bulk of this market today, with Canada and other players being somewhat peripheral, but Milne emphasized that this isn’t necessarily going to be a perpetual thing.

“We are going to NATO forces and making sure they understand that they can buy from the same Common Criteria Certifications as the U.S.,” he stressed. “The U.S. today represents an outsized proposition of our business, but that’s because other nationalities are just starting to get into this kind of thing for defense. We do have some good business with the Canadian government, but not as far as something that would be a repeatable framework for navy frigates, for example.”