Hyperconverged Infrastructure (S2:E56)

March 30, 2023

Today, we’re joined by Rick Urban, Senior Product Manager, Video Systems at Identiv, and Dan Pierce, VP of Global Business Development and Sales Operations at Scale Computing, a market leader in edge computing, virtualization, and hyperconverged solutions. Tune in as they discuss the new Identiv Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) powered by Scale.

Full Transcript

Voiceover: You are listening to Humans in Tech. Our podcast explores today's most transformative technology and the trends of tomorrow, bringing together the brightest minds in and outside of our industry. We unpack what's new and physical access, identity verification, cybersecurity and IOT ecosystems. We reach beyond the physical world, discuss our digital transformation as a species, and dive into the emerging phygital [00:00:30] experience. Join us on our journey as we discover just how connected the future will be, and how we will fit into that picture. Your host is Leigh Dow.

Leigh Dow: Thanks for checking us out today. We're joined by two very special guests, Rick Urban, Senior Product Manager For Video Systems at Identiv. And Dan Pierce, Vice President of Global Business Development and Sales Operations at Scale Computing. Scale Computing is a market leader in edge computing, virtualization, and hyperconverged solutions. Thank you [00:01:00] both for joining us today to discuss a new hyperconverged infrastructure solution. First off, Rick, why don't you tell us a little bit about your background in the industry and also fill us in on your role at Identiv and maybe some other things that you're working on.

Rick Urban: Sure. Hi Leigh. Thank thanks for having us. Great to be here. As you mentioned, I'm Rick Urban, I'm the Senior Product Manager For Video Systems at Identiv. What that entails and includes is our core video management system, which is Velocity Vision. And beyond [00:01:30] that, I manage several of our core technologies that go around that. Mainly around our vision AI platform, which is our video analytics solution, our HCI, a hyperconverged infrastructure solution powered by scale as well as our cloud storage option. And our soon-to-be new toolbox application that will be helping us manage our large enterprise applications. [00:02:00] I've been with Identiv for about one year now. I've been in the physical security industry for close to 25 years, both as a sales engineer and a product manager, and I have a deep experience with video analytics and video management systems both as a manufacturer and as an integrator.

Leigh Dow: That's great. I can't believe it's been a year already.

Rick Urban: Yeah, it goes by fast.

Leigh Dow: For sure.

Rick Urban: You're doing great things and it goes by fast.

Leigh Dow: For sure. [00:02:30] Dan, what is your experience in the industry? How did you end up at Scale Computing?

Dan Pierce: Yeah, thanks for having me. As mentioned, Dan Pierce, Vice President of Business Development for Scale. So what that means is I got to work with great companies partners like Identiv. My background has been 20 plus years in enterprise software, primarily in sales marketing, some product management roles. But I started at Scale in February of 2018. So I think that [00:03:00] I just started my sixth year, was recruited by Dave Fullman, our CRO, who I've known and worked with my entire career. He sold me on the market opportunity that Scale has within the hyperconverge virtualization market, the Scale technology, which is great, customers love it. And then most importantly for me, the great team and culture we have at Scale. So yeah, that's my background.

Leigh Dow: That's great. Scale's really new to me. I've [00:03:30] learned quite a bit about you guys through Rick. And recently, Identiv announced a partnership with Scale Computing. The partnership is to streamline video and access control deployments. Rick, can you give us a little more detail about the launch of the Identiv hyperconverged infrastructure powered by Scale Computing?

Rick Urban: Absolutely. As I mentioned before, Identiv has our core video product that's Velocity Vision. Along with Velocity Vision, Identiv also [00:04:00] is well known in the access control space and the software product on that is called Velocity. And so we have a very tight integration between those two components. But as we looked to expand the capabilities of Velocity Vision, we started looking at the other core technologies that are available in the market that would be a great fit for us as we go out and start talking about this digital transformation that's going on in the security industry right now. And we really started to focus [00:04:30] on our ability to deliver end-to-end solutions. And what that meant was for us to go out and find a great artificial intelligence platform that we could bring into our system and that led us to what we have now today that we'll actually be launching in a few weeks in Las Vegas at ISC West, which is called Vision AI.

We also heard a lot of people asking for solutions that would allow them to move a lot of their video and data to an off location, or [00:05:00] an off-premise place where they could store critical data and video and advance in other things for long term. And that's where we formed a partnership and created what is called Vision Cloud, and that's powered by our partner Wasabi. But what it meant with bringing all those things together is we had to have a great environment to run and manage and operate these in. And when we started looking around, Scale rose to the top quickly on that. And really what [00:05:30] it provided us was an all-in-one solution where we were getting our servers, our storage, our virtualization, and allow us to run applications on multiple operating systems even, so we can run our analytics platform on Linux, we can run our VMS platform on Windows, and it's all in a single environment that's real simple to deploy and lets us manage all those Identiv applications.

Again, providing the central [00:06:00] management and the benefits of all that, and what Scale brings is this a highly available, self-healing platform that's super scalable and really easy to scale out. So as we get into some of our large enterprise... We're rolling one out today, as a matter... Or not today. Recently, that they started off with 12 or 1500 cameras and 7 or 800 doors. That system's already grown in two months to over 2000 cameras, and it's expected to go to 3,500 [00:06:30] by the end of this year. And having a platform like Identiv HCI with Scale is what allows us to do that. And it lets the consumer... I'm sorry. The end user, consolidate their hardware footprint by bringing in this virtualization component.

And ultimately, what they end up with is a real low total cost of ownership. And you can see a high ROI in that over the long term. And that was really how we ended [00:07:00] up on Scale and what it is that they bring and why it's such a great partnership for us, and what we're looking to do this year as we get out into the market and really talk about our end-to-end solutions offerings.

Leigh Dow: For both of you or either one of you, HCI can sound really complex, but that's not necessarily true here. So how is HCI a turnkey solution?

Dan Pierce: Yeah, I can take first pass.

Rick Urban: I'll give that one to Dan.

Dan Pierce: So one of the things we never hear [00:07:30] in the market from customers, prospective customers is that they want a very expensive, very complex solution to deploy and manage. And the alternatives out there can be very complex, but [inaudible 00:07:43] Scale's DNA is simplicity. So we are a simple platform to run applications. As Rick mentioned, we combine server storage virtualization into a simple solution that can be deployed in under an hour. You create DMS in seconds, literally five clicks to [00:08:00] create those virtual machines. And for Identiv customers, this means that when the servers arrive, they have the scale software installed along with Identiv applications. You plug those systems in, power them on, connect to the network, and the intelligence built into Scale automatically pulls together the resources of the hardware.

So CPU, RAM storage, there's nothing to configure like the complexity and other solutions. And then Rick also highlighted, we've got a central management [00:08:30] through a internet browser, so that makes it easy for customers to manage those current applications that are running. But is he sided with the customer? If you expand, you can easily add additional resources to existing virtual machines or create new virtual machines for additional workloads. So very easy to scale out for existing and new customers.

Leigh Dow: Dan, why is the security systems market shied away [00:09:00] from virtualization in the past?

Dan Pierce: Yeah, yeah, 100% it's around complexity. So security integrators know the surveillance VMS access control market inside and out, but the market is primarily focused on bare metal point-based solutions because the other virtualization platforms out there just... They require a lot of expertise to deploy and manage. So some of our competitors are [00:09:30] going to include VMware, Nutanix, other systems that can be challenging to deploy. You've got to go through certified training to get up to speed with Scale. We do have technical training available, but most IT journalists get up to speed very quickly. And we've had multiple deployments in the surveillance space where customers and integrators are blown away with the simplicity factor. And we've heard quotes, like you provide the benefits of virtualization, which we love, [00:10:00] but you also bring the simplicity of what we're used to in bare metal.

Leigh Dow: Very nice. What kind of industry organizations really benefit from HCI?

Dan Pierce: Yeah, I can take first pass at that, Rick. So we're a horizontal solution. And HCI hyperconverged infrastructure, virtualization. The way all simplified is Scale is a platform to run applications and ensure that those applications [00:10:30] are highly available. But being a horizontal solution, we apply to all major verticals, retail, healthcare, manufacturing, hospitality, government, you name it. We've got thousands of customers across the globe. They could be a small organization like the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and individual law office to mid-size organizations like Benchmark Electronics to very large enterprise organizations like [inaudible 00:10:58] Del Hayes who's a Scale customers, [00:11:00] they're the third-largest grocery in the world with 7,000 grocery stores out there. And then one other, we've got a case study available with Resource World Las Vegas where Scale's the infrastructure for their massive 4.3 billion property on the Las Vegas Strip. They're currently running around 7,000 cameras with plans to expand. So applicable across the board. But Rick, anything to add in terms of=

Rick Urban: No, I'm just reiterate on what Dan said [00:11:30] and why when we really got to talking to Scale and why it became pretty clear pretty quickly that this was going to be a great solution for us. Identiv's been in business for a long time and we have a lot of customers that scale across many, many very large verticals. And we have our legacy and long-lasting customers in our access control space. We have some legacy [00:12:00] customers in our previous VMS solution that have systems, some of them are up as high as 45,000 cameras. And again, bringing Scale into this lets us go back and bring this solution in and apply it across all of those, the 2, 3, 4, 500 camera, the hundred door guys, all the way up to those large enterprise systems that I talked about. Scale really helps us get in there and do the one thing that [00:12:30] we keep talking about, which is making these really simple to manage, deploy, and grow. And that's why, again, we're really excited about bringing this to the market.

Leigh Dow: Well, and I know that it's an exciting product to bring to market, it's a lot of moving parts and a huge benefit to the end user. So how will this benefit those end user IT and security [00:13:00] teams?

Rick Urban: Yeah, I mean again, we'll say it again. Simplicity. That is really the top benefit. And a lot of people like to say their product is really simple. And you mentioned it earlier, people hear these big words, hyperconvergent, virtualization, their eyes gloss over, they get really scared. We've all been in this industry for a long time and we know some things sometimes like this take a long time to get adopted. But Scale has done a really great [00:13:30] job of making this tool so simple, so easy to deploy, and the time that you save managing these organizations... Or organizations managing these tools between deployment time and then getting them up and running and doing the maintenance. That's where the ROI comes in, where you can see clear benefit and savings and those sorts of things. And then of course, we're in a lot of critical [00:14:00] areas. We have a lot of critical customers where high availability is key.

Downtime is sometimes unacceptable to them. And that's why, again, bringing something like this into the customers that we serve across the many verticals that we have. The other thing that we said that we must have was high availability and Scale brought that along with their self-healing platform [00:14:30] that maybe Dan could shed a little bit more light on, and he can talk about it from his side of the business, why he thinks this is such benefit to IT and security.

Dan Pierce: Yeah, I think you nailed the top benefits. And just to quantify some of that. Simplicity, we have customers that are saving up to 90% on the deployment time of their infrastructure and applications over the previous solution. So that adds up very quick as well as we have 600 plus case studies and [00:15:00] many of them are saying the ongoing management of the infrastructure that's going to be running video management, access control [inaudible 00:15:07] solutions, savings can be as high as 50 plus percent over their previous solutions. High availability, if you're a retailer and you've got downtime, that costs sales. So it adds up very quickly in minutes in hours and you multiply that by hundreds or thousands of locations, you get into millions in ROI [00:15:30] by having that high availability.

And then the other thing, so if you're a small retail chain or a coffee shop like Starbucks and you've got to run the POS system on one server, you've got to run customer loyalty on something else, you've got to run video on another box or two, versus let's just get three or four nodes in that location. You can run it all virtually on Scale with Identiv and you reduce all those [00:16:00] point-based solutions, you reduce the hardware footprint, you improve the management. So a lot of benefits both for IT as well as security teams with this joint solution.

Leigh Dow: So I find the case study of Resorts World Las Vegas so interesting because that property... I mean, the property itself isn't really new, but just the whole way that property's being reconstructed and reconfigured and they've added that huge [00:16:30] outside sports deck, I'm sure that was a really interesting project to work on.

Dan Pierce: Yes, like I said, it's 4.3 billion state-of-the-art facility. It's a unique different experience on the Strip. They're on the north end. And some of what I've read in terms of what they have today is phenomenal, they've got like a seven and a half acre pool deck, but they sit on... I forget how many [00:17:00] acres, total around 60 acres. So their footprint and ability to expand that property and have a great experience for their visitors, the future looks really bright for Resorts World as well as they're going to continue to expand the surveillance deployment.

Leigh Dow: Well, I don't know if you worked with her, but Allison's in the studio with me and she'll probably remember her as well, my friend Shannon McCallum is the VP of Hotel Operations for Resorts [00:17:30] World. So I don't know if you ever worked with her, but I've just watched the journey of that particular property as she came on board from a different MGM property and watching all of the exciting changes and offerings that they have. So that's just a really unique space.

Dan Pierce: Yes, definitely.

Rick Urban: And all this data was... I was fortunate enough a few weeks ago to actually attend Scale annual platform event [00:18:00] out in Las Vegas. And Dan and the team out at Resorts World were very gracious and brought us over there and gave us a tour of the facility and brought us down into the operation center down there. And we got to see really firsthand a very large scale, no pun intended, a large scale Scale deployment. I think they were running eight clusters in their 40 plus nodes as they call it. [00:18:30] And the customer had nothing but great things to say about it and they hit on all the same points that we talked about today. And so for me, it was really eye-opening and really good to see that and get to experience the way that these customers use it in a relationship that they have with Scale. It just really solidified that we made the right decision when we decided to partner up with Scale and bring Identiv HCI to market and part of our ecosystem.

Leigh Dow: Well, and I always live vicariously [00:19:00] through her LinkedIn post, like yesterday, she posted that they'd had the Forbes Travel Guide Summit there at Resort World and Neil Patrick Harris was the host and she's got all these up close pictures of him posted and stuff. So I'm like, "Oh, he has a cool job." Very interesting place to work. So is there anything else you'd like to share with our audience today?

Rick Urban: I'll just like to mention, I'm not sure when the podcast is going out, but we're going to be out in Las Vegas at the end of this month, the end of March at [00:19:30] ISC West. We will be talking about Velocity Vision and the Velocity Vision ecosystem. You'll get to see all the technologies in action that we talked about today and it's all going to be running on our own internal Scale HCI, Identiv HCI environment. So come on, check us out. Perfect.

Leigh Dow: Well Dan and Rick, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate your taking the time out of your day.

Dan Pierce: You bet. Thank you.

Rick Urban: Appreciate it. Thank you very much. And Dan, thanks for having you on.

Dan Pierce: [00:20:00] Yep. Appreciate it Rick. Looking forward to the year ahead

Leigh Dow: And to-

Rick Urban: Thank you.

Leigh Dow: And to our audience, if you enjoyed this podcast, please like and subscribe. We drop new episodes every week.

Voiceover: The problem isn't security, it's awareness. Velocity Vision is the future of visual surveillance. An intelligent video management solution that delivers real-time situational awareness in an open security platform. Integrate with your existing systems, verify your environment in one pane of glass and [00:20:30] increase the efficiency of your security operation. Get full control of your environment when and where you need it. Learn more at identiv.com. Get access control anywhere, anytime for less money out of pocket. Highly secure Freedom Cloud is a cloud-based access control as a service offered through a cost-effective subscription model, allowing users to control, manage, and maintain their physical access control systems via Freedom's intuitive, [00:21:00] always up to date, browser based web administration. Learn more at identiv.com. Physical security, identity verification, the IOT, the hyperconnectivity of our lives will only grow more pervasive, as technology becomes more automated and experiences more augmented, it's up to us to preserve our humanity and use new tools and trends for good. The only question is, are we up for the challenge?