Examining Pivot3's Scale Out Hosting Platform
Pivot3 has announced a scale out hosting platform aimed at supplying the growing number of VSaaS providers needing centralized storage. Partners listed in the announcement include Axis, Detexei, Salient and Iveda.
In contrast to its general purpose video surveillance storage offerings (CloudBank [link no longer available] and MiniBank [link no longer available]), Pivot3 offers backup and replication options with secondary storage to enhance disaster recovery (e.g., the VSaaS's primary data center is lost).
Alternative options to replicate and/or backup data can be found from cloud storage providers (such as Amazon S3) and traditional IT SAN providers (such as EMC).
Pivot3 estimates the 2010 market for external storage in hosted applications to be $25 Million and growing at a 50% CAGR. Whatever the exact number is, it is likely that storage use for hosted providers is small today but likely to grow over the next few years.
A few barriers to hosted storage remain: (1) upstream bandwidth limitations restricting the number of cameras and the quality level that can be transmitted centrally and (2) emerging on-site small storage (like 1 or 2 bay NAS appliances or SD cards inside of cameras) that may be overall cheaper, avoid bandwidth limitations and expand scalability of cameras served per site.
The size and significance of the current partners announced is questionable. The largest by far is Axis. However, as we examined in our AVHS test report, Axis does not run storage/servers for the AVHS program. Each AVHS partner (dozens of them) selects their own servers and storage. Axis confirmed that the Pivot3 offering is an option available but not required for their partners. For the other partners listed, Iveda is a struggling company (under $750,000 annual revenue with 'substantial doubts' about its financial viability. Detexei and Salient are both traditional, smaller VMS providers starting to enter the VSaaS market.
As VSaaS matures and larger organizations seek to use them, the importance of reliable and trusted servers/storage will grow. Providers and users should carefully consider what fault-tolerance measures have been deployed.
For more on VSaaS providers, review our VSaaS provider guide.