In a recent blog post, my colleague Mark Bowker talked about the incredible amounts of investment money pouring into the converged and hyper-converged markets. The ongoing success of vendors like VCE and the market demand for simplified, pre-integrated solutions have seemingly everyone hopping on the converged/hyper converged bandwagon. As a result, there is currently quite a bit of, shall we say, hype in the hyper-convergence space.
One of the veteran players in the hyper-converged space is a company called Scale Computing. What’s interesting about Scale is that they have very quietly carved out a very respectable niche in the midmarket data center space (50-5,000 employees). Scale has been shipping their Hypercore (HC3) platform since 2009 and since that time they have managed to garner 1,000 customers globally and have shipped over 4,500 HC3 systems. This might just make them one of the most successful storage solution startups you’ve never heard about.
The secret to Scale Computing’s success is the simplicity of implementing and managing their hyper-converged appliance. The Hypercore platform is composed of server compute resources, networking, and storage, integrated with a KVM hypervisor. While ESG Lab has yet to validate this, the folks at Scale claim that from the time their platform is powered up and connected to a network, end-users can start deploying production-ready VMs in under 5 minutes. And an HC3 system can be managed by experienced and novice IT administrators alike, making it a great fit in organizations where IT resources are stretched extremely thin. This essentially is what is enabling Scale Computing to attract a legion of small to medium-sized businesses to their offering. It should be noted, however, that even large organizations like NATO are relying on the HC3 for their computing needs in remote field offices around the globe.
Recently I got together with Scale Computing’s CTO, Jason Collier, to get an update on version 6.0 of the Hypercore operating system. What I appreciate about this release is that Scale Computing has stayed true to their ethos of simplifying the end-user experience. By modifying their administrative menus to mimic the look and feel of an iOS device, 6.0 will be appealing to Apple aficionados and anyone else that desires simplicity and ease of use, a key selling point in the midmarket segment. At a glance, administrators can view the real-time resource consumption of the HC3 (CPU, memory, storage) and the individual configuration status and health of VMs on the system. And new VMs can be configured and deployed with just a few keystrokes. In short, managing the Scale Computing HC3 appears to be very simple and straightforward, which is undoubtedly a contributing factor to the company’s current and potentially ongoing success.