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Pivot3 expands into data protection with iSCSI SAN storage system

Pivot3, looking to take its serverless iSCSI SAN storage systems beyond the video surveillance market, takes on data protection software partners in hopes of expanding its channel base.

Pivot3 Inc. is looking to double its channel footprint by offering its serverless iSCSI SAN storage system as a data backup box.

Pivot3 today launched its Scale-out Data Protection Platform, which the vendor claims can speed data backup and recovery by partnering with software providers for backup, data deduplication and replication.

Pivot3 Chief Marketing Officer Lee Caswell said the company has more than 300 customers, most using its systems as storage for video surveillance systems. Caswell said the same physical box can also help customers speed backup and recovery. Pivot3's RAIGE software-based RAID architecture aggregates Ethernet ports and uses bandwidth in parallel to distribute parity and volumes across drives and ports simultaneously. Caswell said the system's linear performance scaling can support data deduplication streams at up to 20 TB per hour.

Pivot3's data protection software partners include Acronis, Asigra, CA, CommVault, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, SteelEye, Symantec, Vision Solutions/Double-Take Software and Zmanda. Caswell said the data protection software has been certified to work with Pivot3 and in some cases has been benchmarked, but no integration has been done between the applications and Pivot3 systems.

"We first went after the video surveillance market -- all the applications we supported were around that market," Caswell said. "Now we're entering a second market and taking on data protection. We've taken in key ISV partners into our application lab, and we ensure compatibility and support for channel partners who want to put those configurations together in the field."

Caswell said Pivot3 has 50 channel partners, and he hopes to add 50 more for data protection. Some of its resellers in the surveillance field have started selling Pivot3 for data protection, including Ciphaus of Seattle; Device-Logix of Cypress, Texas; and Digi Systems of Oklahoma City. Caswell said about 10 customers are already using Pivot3 for backup.

Ciphaus Principal Philip Thompson said he expects the backup offering to be popular among his client base, which consists mostly of education, government and healthcare companies. He said those types of organizations are already embracing iSCSI and it will be easy to convert the Pivot3 systems to use for backup.

"This year we've really seen iSCSI take off," he said. "Customers like it because you can have them up and running in minutes, and it's easier to use than Fibre Channel."

Thompson said Ciphaus also sells CommVault Simpana and Microsoft Data Protection Manager (DPM), but one of his customers was already running Backup Exec and started using that to back up to its Pivot3 system.

Muskogee Community Hospital is another customer using Pivot3 for backup and video surveillance. IT administrator Owetha Wilson said the hospital saves money by backing up file servers, Microsoft Exchange and SQL to the Pivot3 Cloudbank storage array it purchased for video surveillance.

"We looked at tape drives, but they were pricey," she said. "And now we don't have to worry about changing tapes every day. We installed a virtual server on the box and created space on a spare drive, and we just back up by mapping a drive."

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