In February of this year Pivot3 announced the acquisition of NexGen storage – we look at why this could be significant for service provision and the software defined data centre.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Pivot3’s acquisition of NexGen sends a very strong statement to customers evaluating the #hyperconverged market”]

Pivot3 provides Dynamic Hyper-Converged solutions, they’re very good at it with more than three times the patents of their nearest competitor and customers in more than 53 geographies.  They’re in a fiercely competitive market and analysts predict exponential growth in hyper-convergence so expect to see new entrants, consolidation and failures.  Indeed, the expectation is many of todays providers will be purchased or simply disappear due to lack of funding.  Pivot3’s acquisition of NexGen therefore sends a very strong statement to customers evaluating this market – that is they’re here for the long haul and in an early adopter market that’s significant as buyers need to place bets.  It therefore follows that providers making these sorts of investments are making a clear statement of their intent and long term credentials.  In other words they’re a safe bet – customers need providers to support them through this transition, not disappear due to lack of funding six months into the relationship.

In terms of the technology itself Pivot3 is already serving customers globally with its brand of hyper-convergence – that is the ability to perform unified data centre tasks from x86 commodity servers using its software as the glue to tie compute, storage and networking bandwidth together.  So how does NexGen storage enhance this?  On the surface of it they provide PCIe Flash storage and have been very successful; we expect though there’s more to this than just storage alone.

Pivot3 are in a fiercely competitive market and analysts predict exponential growth in hyper-convergence so expect to see new entrants, consolidation and failures

Pivot3 has seen an opportunity to expand the traditional notion of hyper-convergence.  We expect them to migrate NexGen’s software capabilities into their own operating system – one of these is Quality of Service (QoS), so IT no longer has to overprovision for peak workloads, but instead can use just-in-time dynamic provisioning of resources and scale as the business grows. This has relevance for service provision as it enhances the management of workloads in a multi-tenanted environment – service providers can guarantee a quality of service to their customers and we see this as a big step towards the adoption of hyper-convergence in this sector.  Unlike other storage arrays and hyper-converged systems that treat all data the same, Pivot3’s QoS governs performance targets, input/output (I/O) prioritisation and data placement, allowing customers to meet business service-level agreements. For example, an organisation serving the healthcare market can prioritise mission-critical hospital system applications over the internal Microsoft Exchange server, preventing a surge in employee email downloads from interrupting life-or-death health care system operations. This is a great example and the same concept is true in any service provision environment.

Michael Frank, Manager IT Services Group, NCS Credit explains:

“We categorise all of our applications as mission-critical, business-critical or non-critical.  We need our systems to be able to recognise that not all applications are created equal and to process them appropriately and differentially.”

Ever-increasing user expectations and application demands determine that not all data should be treated the same and Pivot3 can certainly manage this now by taking their hyper-converged proposition to a level where service providers can deploy it not just as a platform, but a platform that enhances their own offering to customers, as well as complementing the overall shift to a software defined data centre.

Finally, we also expect Pivot3 to leverage NexGen’s channel providing them with further footprint in geographies they already serve and an opportunity to expand into new regions.  It’s not surprising then that Pivot3 made this move – not only does it send out a very clear statement regarding their intent and longevity in this market, it also significantly enhances their hyper-converged solution. Finally, the new routes to market provided by NexGen salesforce and the channel will also prove hugely beneficial. 

[easy-tweet tweet=”We expect Pivot3 to leverage NexGen’s channel to expand into new regions”]

We started this blog saying why this acquisition could be significant for service provision and the software defined data centre – it’s much more than that and the message this conveys in the early adopter market of hyper-convergence is a powerful one.