The Pivot3 ‘RAIGE’ of Digitial Surveillance


With the market for digital video surveillance heating up, it’s no surprise
customers who use IP surveillance need a place to sock away the digital
video footage their cameras shoot.


Pivot3 is looking to cash in.


The Spring, Texas, startup has created a way to use block-based
virtualization to power IP-based storage clusters, giving customers more
bang for their storage buck.


While most vendors use file-based virtualization to aggregate various pools
of storage, the Pivot3 RAIGE (RAID Across Independent Gigabit Ethernet)
Storage Cluster uses block-level virtualization that reduces storage
infrastructure costs by up to 50 percent without sacrificing performance or
availability, said Jeff Bell, Pivot3’s vice president of marketing.


“This lets us get lower into the stack and allows us to do some things that are
radically different,” he said. “File-level virtualization — nothing wrong
with it, it solves a lot of problems — but it rides on top of existing
infrastructure and can’t break through the barriers or limitation of the
current infrastructure. RAIGE Storage Clusters can.”

Pivot3 RAIGE

All the surveillance ‘RAIGE’

Source: Pivot3


By virtualizing the RAID  blocks, Bell said RAIGE Storage
Cluster obviates the need for special RAID arrays and storage controllers.


Instead of doing RAID across hard disk drives, Storage Clusters protect
customer data across multiple networked storage nodes. Dubbed Databanks,
these nodes comprise commodity x86 servers and disk drives that are
connected via common Gigabit Ethernet.


Unlike traditional storage arrays from IBM , EMC  and HP , every computer client may directly access every Databank, yielding less latency and parallel throughput.
Databanks may be stacked to scale to hundreds of terabytes.


Bell said the incorporation of multiple nodes eliminates the need to
replicate data across Databanks, yet still protects against a drive, network
or Databank failure. Moreover, multi-node data protection offers up to three
times better performance during failures than traditional two-way
controllers.

Storage Clusters also support real-time configuration changes so that data
is continuously available through volume provisioning changes. Need to take
a Databank out for repairs? Feel free, knowing that you can yank it out of
the configuration and the system will reconstruct the data and keep running.


Bell said that while the RAIGE Storage Clusters target what Pivot3 considers a
$7 billion or $8 billion market for storing video generated from digital
surveillance, customers from any walk of business can find value in the
Clusters.


While researchers such as Gartner and IDC don’t have exact figures on
digital surveillance, the market certainly seems to be hot right now, with
Cisco Systems making two
purchases in the last year and IBM rolling out new products.

But Pivot3’s initial niche focus may be just as well rooted in survival;
traditionally, storage startups do better when they focus on new or emerging
market sub sectors, rather than businesses that already own storage gear from
larger or more established vendors.


Bell said Pivot3’s emphasis on digital surveillance enables it to record and
manage up to five times more video data streams than other modular storage
systems trying to get into that market.


Pivot3 currently has four customers in production and another four in beta
with the RAIGE Storage Clusters, which work with Windows and Linux
environments. Connexed Technologies, a hosted video surveillance provider,
uses RAIGE Storage Clusters to scale to hundreds of thousands of subscriber
sites and millions of cameras.


Each Databank contains twelve 500GB or 750GB drives for a raw
capacity of 6 or 9 terabytes (TB). Six TB Databanks start
at $17,499. Pivot3 officials are still hashing out pricing for the 9TB
configuration, but it will likely cost just over $20,000.

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