Pivot3 further expands HCI automation to make life easier for mission-critical video admins

The new enhancements, upgrading Pivot3’s Intelligence Engine to include both a system-level upgrade orchestration and a health and a best practices analyzer, are targeted at the video security market that makes up much of Pivot3’a business.

Bruce Milne, Pivot3’s CMO and VP of Business Development

Today, hyperconverged infrastructure [HCI] provider Pivot3 is announcing an update to their Acuity software platform, version 10.8. The major theme is new automation and intelligence enhancements, specifically to address the needs of mission-critical video security deployments which makes up the bulk of Pivot3’s business. New features include upgrading Pivot3’s Intelligence Engine to include system-level upgrade orchestration and a health and best practices analyzer.

“The HCI market hasn’t been known for a lot of automation, said Bruce Milne, Pivot3’s CMO and VP of Business Development. “It has been the more traditional systems management applications that do that. We haven’t seen a lot of automation in HCI yet. So we are setting the bar here.”

The intelligence and automation in the Acuity software platform come through the Pivot3 Intelligence Engine.

Mike Koponen, Pivot3’s Senior Director, Strategic Alliances

“Our HCI is based on automation and intelligence,” said Mike Koponen, Pivot3’s Senior Director, Strategic Alliances. “We use the term Intelligence Engine for managing and optimizing performance, executing business policies, and providing policy-based data protection, security, autohealing, system health monitoring and analytics.”

Automation and intelligence are particularly important to Pivot3 because 80% of their revenues come from video security solutions, which are mainly administered by individuals which by most IT standards would be considered to be entry level, or worse.

“Many people who manage these solutions are not IT people,” Milne said. “They are security people, They need capabilities to keep up with things like setting up VMs and loading the next release. This is another aspect of our automation theme, to allow this audience to focus on their core competence of managing the security of their facility.”

“This release extends our existing intelligence engine to ensure our system uses the latest best practices,” Koponen stated. “One of these is system-level upgrade orchestration. The Upgrade Manager validates the end-to-end health state of the system and provides advice, which is important because our customers don’t typically have a lot of IT expertise. This lets junior IT admins and security people provide end-to-end updates.”

The other major enhancement is the Health and Best Practices Analyzer.

“It allows a system admin to run an exhaustive series of verification tasks to ensure best performance, capacity utilization and other key attributes,” Koponen said.  It also ensures compliance with best practices to ensure 24 X 7 system uptime and availability.

“This covers everything from small systems to really large systems which have many clusters,” Koponen noted. “We work with a lot of SIs who deploy the systems and put video management and analytics on our systems and do project management. This release will simplify their life greatly. It’s a big value proposition for the partner who does that work.”

Pivot3 is looking to the new release to continue the momentum they have seen during the pandemic, despite major challenges in some of their verticals.

“Some of the business we do is in higher education, which has been negatively impacted because they are empty right now,” Milne said. “There’s a lot of indecision right now, and campuses aren’t expanding at the same rate. Yet last quarter, we did 170% of our overall sales plan, because a lot of our customer deployments are mission critical. That resulted in solutions for places like airports, smart cities, to identify things like more than 10 people together, or people not wearing face masks. There’s an extraordinary amount of demand around public safety. We sold two airlines this quarter in the face of enormous retrench by airlines. We are doing a refit for one of them in the mid 3 digits over the next three years, We started that this past quarter. We are also seeing significant progress in the federal space, especially in defense where there is a lot of demand for modernization of the infrastructure.

“We also sell to a lot of SLED, who are not employers of first choice for people with high IT skills,” Milne added. “They often have trouble attracting and retaining them. Automation is important for this market.”

Milne said to look for continued extension of automation in Pivot3’s future releases.

“The automation theme extends throughout our road map,” he said. “We have been doing that since the automating of drives that were going to fail, and notifying users, through erasure coding that continues to evolve. We will keep pushing boundaries in HCI for automation, specifically around use cases that we serve.”

Version 10.8 of Pivot3’s Acuity software platform will be available in Q3 2020.

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