Pivot3 unveils Acuity, its hyperconverged infrastructure with enhanced performance for enterprise datacenters

Hyperconverged infrastructure company Pivot3 released Tuesday Acuity, its initial priority-aware HCI software platform that enables IT to consolidate multiple mixed-application workloads onto a single infrastructure while also delivering improved performance. Pivot3 positions the Acuity-based hyperconverged solutions as being performance architected, priority-aware, and policy-based.

Acuity comes with a comprehensive set of data services that help enterprise IT drive efficiency in the data center, including Pivot3’s patented erasure coding which delivers up to 82-percent usable storage capacity. Additional data services include snapshots and clones, application-integrated data protection, data reduction, and integrations with VMware vSphere and VMware vCenter. Acuity runs on a broad set of HCI nodes; with all nodes offering flexibility in capacity, CPU, RAM and graphics cards to meet specific use case requirements.

Acuity is architected for performance, fully leveraging the acceleration of ultra-low-latency NVMe PCIe flash. With NVMe PCIe flash data path performance, under control of Pivot3’s advanced policy-based Quality of Service (QoS) engine, organizations can consolidate performance- and latency-sensitive applications onto HCI with flash that is 450-percent faster than SATA SSD and 119-percent faster than SAS SSD.

Acuity simplifies workload management with Pivot3’s fifth-generation policy-based management engine and comprehensive data services. As a priority-aware software platform, Acuity intelligently and automatically applies resources to mission-critical applications for guaranteed performance and predictable results.

Acuity’s advanced policy-based management engine has been optimized to make efficient use of NVMe PCIe flash to deliver six times the performance of conventional HCI solutions. This means IT can improve response times for databases, enterprise applications, business analytics and VDI. Acuity also delivers increased density, enabling IT to run two to three times more virtual machines per HCI node, resulting in a smaller data center footprint and significant reductions in operating and capital expenditure.

Acuity was built to provide IT with a simple, automated way to manage a multiple workload environment and guarantee the performance of the applications that matter most to their business. Acuity’s policy-based simplicity and priority-aware intelligence stem from its advanced QoS engine integrated with its multi-tier architecture.

Its features include pre-defined performance and user-defined data protection policies to meet SLAs in a mixed workload environment; automatic workload prioritization and real-time multi-tier data placement; self-management with a customizable performance dashboard for ongoing management decisions based on extensive application insight; and a policy scheduler allowing administrators to schedule performance and data protection policy changes based on cyclical business processes that change application requirements.

The adoption of converged systems has grown quickly over the years. Total spending on converged systems exceeded $12 billion in 2016, which can be seen as a clear indication of their effectiveness, according to research firm IDC. Most of the converged systems deployed to date have focused on tightly integrating well-established systems that have long been available as standalone servers, storage systems, or networking equipment. Arguably, the use of these systems as core building blocks represents the first phase of converged system offerings and has helped drive rapid adoption for tier 1 and mission-critical applications.

Acuity offers multiple dashboards that allow users to monitor real-time and historical performance metrics of a storage volume to identify if any changes are needed. Metrics such as IOPS, throughput, latency and queue depths and more can be reviewed real-time or over a select time frame. Users, for example, can leverage insights gained through these dashboards to adjust a workload’s QoS/SLA assignment. Pivot3 offers four new node types to support a range of use cases and workloads. The new X5 Series hyperconverged nodes include all flash and hybrid accelerator nodes as well as all flash and hybrid standard nodes.

“With Acuity, we’re turbocharging HCI and redefining the next generation of the enterprise datacenter,” said Ron Nash, CEO of Pivot3. “Businesses are demanding more out of hyperconvergence, and expect these solutions to effectively manage multiple mission-critical applications. By bringing together breakthrough performance and sophisticated intelligence, we’re supporting the transition to the private cloud and software-defined datacenter in a way that’s never been seen before.”

“Customers have experienced success with hyperconverged systems running single applications such as VDI, and now they are increasingly using the same systems to handle multiple mixed workloads,” said Tim Stammers, senior analyst at 451 Group. “But that can create resource contention between applications, and the risk of not meeting performance SLAs. One solution is to combine Quality of Service (QoS) controls with the efficient use of high performance resources such as NVMe flash. Pivot3’s Acuity platform uses NVMe flash alongside policy-based – but sophisticated – QoS controls.”

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