Pivot3 upgrades "serverless computing" platform

By Dave Simpson

– Pivot3 today introduced the second generation of its Serverless Computing Array, with enhancements in RAID functionality, capacity, performance and support for NAS.

Clarification: Pivot3's “serverless” computing platform does not eliminate servers; rather, it hosts both server and storage applications on shared x86-based hardware appliances, dubbed Cloudbanks, that eliminate the need for users to buy external servers.

The company refers to the iSCSI-based SAN architecture as "storage-centric computing," and originally focused on the video surveillance market. But with the enhancements to the second generation platform, Pivot3 hopes to break into new markets, including streaming applications for backup and archiving, outbound video streaming, medical imaging, and hosted environments, according to Lee Caswell, Pivot3’s founder and chief marketing officer.

One new feature is RAID 6e (enhanced), which protects against the simultaneous failure of three disk drives, or one Cloudbank appliance failure and one drive failure, which provides an added layer of reliability and availability. Raid 6e uses orthogonal parity.

Pivot3’s RAID implementation, dubbed RAIGE (RAID Across Gigabit Ethernet), distributes data and parity across Cloudbank appliances so that they appear as one iSCSI target.

In addition, the company claims a 50% performance improvement in the second generation platform. Each Serverless Computing Array now scales to 48 server cores, 24Gbps of iSCSI bandwidth, and 12 hardware RAID controllers (vs. eight in the previous version). The RAIGE software balances the workload across the array architecture. With 1TB SATA drives, each Cloudbank appliance stores up to 9.9TB.

Pivot3 also added support for NAS (CIFS and NFS) via Microsoft Windows Storage Server.

A 42U Serverless Computing Array rack with 20 servers and 250TB of capacity is priced at just under $300,000.

Related article:

Pivot3 combines server, storage virtualization

This article was originally published on June 24, 2009