Jason Collier and Venessa Alvarez, of Scale Computing, dropped by to introduce the company and its products and discuss why their approach to both converged infrastructure systems and deploying virtualized environments is better for small to medium size businesses (SMB) than similar offerings from Cisco, Dell, HP, IBM or others.
Who is Scale Computing?
Here's how the company describes itself:
Scale Computing develops scale-out clustered IT infrastructure products for small to medium-sized organizations based on its patented ICOS [Intelligent Clustered Operating System] technology. Since launching its initial scale-out storage solution in 2009, Scale has grown to over 1,000 deployments. Scale is currently expanding its footprint throughout the datacenter with what analysts are calling the industry’s first hyperconverged architecture, HC3. Scale’s HC3 seamlessly integrates storage, servers and virtualization into a scalable, turnkey infrastructure that’s as easy to manage as a single server. Designed specifically for IT generalists, HC3 is ideal for those who have not yet adopted virtualization due to cost and complexity, enabling them to run highly available applications.
Scale Computing's products
Scale Computing claims that its products were built from the ground up to support virtualized environments. Since they're using the same basic components used by other suppliers of industry standard, X86-based, system, I couldn't help but wonder what they were doing that differed in any significant way from what others were doing.
The answer appears to be that Scale Computing has thought out what would be needed to support the typically workloads and computing environments of small to medium businesses and has implemented systems that address all of the basic requirements without also requiring customers to have a huge staff of computer scientists on staff. This means balancing memory, processing, storage and networking to properly support SMB workloads.
Scale Computing currently is offering two different systems, the HC3 and the HC3x, combined with software that makes it simple to provision, configure and deploy physical and virtual systems. It is based upon the use of open source virtual machine software reducing the overall cost of software and hardware.
Scale Computing's systems deploy sophisticated and patented storage and network virtualization technologies to provide disaster tollerance and failover right out of the box.
The company's solutions were designed to be both very cost efficient and scalable.
Scale Computing's target customers
Scale Computing understands that SMBs need the same capabilities as do larger companies, but seldom have the staff or infrastructure to support complex technologies. The company would point out that customers need simple, easy and reliable solutions not computer science projects and has built hardware and software designed for SMB.
Although I wanted to get into the finer details of what the company was doing, Jason said it was easier to show people a demonstration than it was to discuss all of the ways complex technology was packaged for use by a smaller company. After watching the demonstration, I have to agree with him.
It seemed simple enough to deploy Windows and Linux workloads that even I could do it.
Although the company is a relative newcomer and is competing with folks such as Cisco, Dell, HP and IBM, I'd recommend that IT decision makers from SMB organizations see the demo themselves.