Scale Computing Addresses the Edge, Unveils VDI-in-a-Box

Autonomous HCI that Removes the Need for Infrastructure Expertise

IT teams are pressured to oversee a larger amount of data center infrastructure. Enterprises are becoming more distributed and they are embracing a growing number of edge locations that oftentimes do not even have any IT staff on-premises. Adopting hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) is a stepping stone to the simplicity that is required against this backdrop. However, to truly eliminate the need for specialized expertise requires an intelligent and autonomous management platform.

Who is Scale Computing?

For its part, Scale Computing targets easy and fast deployment and simplified management with a KVM-based hypervisor that it developed, and on which it built its HC3 hyperconverged infrastructure platform. Scale Computing HC3 borrows concepts of state machines, which effectively trigger reactions based on a series of inputs, to obtain automation and intelligence that makes the platform more autonomous. The end objective is to create an infrastructure that is cost-efficient, highly available, self-managing, and simple enough for a Windows administrator to deploy. According to Scale Computing, IT professionals can stand up a Scale Computing HC3 cluster in about 15 minutes.

Scale Computing HC3 can automatically identify, mitigate, and correct infrastructure problems in real-time, as well as self-load balance. This is because its state machines-based design provides granular insight across performance levels, the state of hardware and drive controllers, and more. It also reacts as the state of the infrastructure environment changes. For example, it knows when writes fail and when to re-try, and it knows when to move workloads for better resource optimization.

Developing its own HCI stack provides an additional advantage in the form of highly efficient storage memory usage, because it does not have the overhead of running through a virtual storage appliance (VSA). According to Scale Computing, other operating platforms start their resource use at 24 GB of RAM per node and increase from there depending on which features get enabled. Scale Computing HC3, on the other hand, uses only 4 GB. The result is more horsepower for running the workloads themselves.

Scale Computing has included a number of disaster recovery capabilities with HC3, including per-virtual machine replication and flexible replication scheduling, to enable fast failover. It also offers simplified and non-disruptive clone-based disaster recovery testing, and the ability to fail back to the production data center.

Scale Computing HE500 Series

Most recently, Scale Computing launched its HE500 Series appliances, which are designed primarily to support edge and remote or branch office environments, as well as other smaller-scale data centers, complementing the company’s larger HC1000 and HC5000 appliances. Because the HE500 appliances are fully compatible with HC1000 and HC5000 systems, this facilitates a common platform between the edge and core data centers while also allowing the HE500 appliances to be used as a disaster recovery target for certain critical applications.

The Scale Computing HC3-based HE500 Series appliances use Lenovo hardware. Customers can choose from a total of five available HE500 appliance configurations. Scale Computing offers the option of 1U rack-mount or tower configurations, all-flash, hard disk only, or hybrid storage media, and either 32GB or 64GB of RAM. There are also 1GbE or 10GbE networking and three Intel processor options. Pricing begins at $16,500 for a three-node cluster, additional nodes can be added for $5,500.

Scale Computing Partners with Parallels for VDI-in-a-Box

In addition to launching its new systems, Scale Computing also announced a new joint solution with remote application delivery and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) software provider Parallels. Through the alliance, Parallels’ Remote Application Server software is integrated with HC3 to simplify, accelerate the delivery and reduce the cost of VDI hosting. The integration is deep, with Parallels’ entire software stack, including terminal services, being coded to communicate with the Scale Computing HC3 APIs.

StorageSwiss Take

The costs and complexities that are associated with infrastructure management and deployment, overhead and outages add up – and today are multiplied, as they exist across the multiple sites of today’s distributed enterprises. Scale Computing is well positioned to address the needs both of multi-site enterprises in industries such as healthcare, retail, and manufacturing, as well as smaller businesses. Simplifying an existing hypervisor stack instead of building one from the ground up or including an off the shelf hypervisor enables Scale Computing to accelerate deployment, streamline management, and improve reliability.

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Senior Analyst, Krista Macomber produces analyst commentary and contributes to a range of client deliverables including white papers, webinars and videos for Storage Switzerland. She has a decade of experience covering all things storage, data center and cloud infrastructure, including: technology and vendor portfolio developments; customer buying behavior trends; and vendor ecosystems, go-to-market positioning, and business models. Her previous experience includes leading the IT infrastructure practice of analyst firm Technology Business Research, and leading market intelligence initiatives for media company TechTarget.

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