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Scale Computing Debuts HE500 HCI Appliances For Edge Computing

‘It opens up a new segment for our small and midsize customers because traditionally, hyper-convergence has been just too expensive for them,’ says Joel Althoff, president of Infrastructure Technology Solutions.

With a starting price tag of $16,000, Scale Computing’s new HE500 family of hyper-converged infrastructure appliances is taking cost-efficient edge solutions to the next level as demand skyrockets, say channel partners.

“It opens up a new segment for our small and midsize customers because traditionally, hyper-convergence has been just too expensive for them,” said Joel Althoff, president of Infrastructure Technology Solutions, a Monticello, Iowa-based solution provider and Scale Computing partner. “Some customers don’t have a whole lot of heavy compute needs, only a little storage needs, and then critical service’s needs. This is a good fit for those scenarios where you can to put something in that we know is going to work, it’s easy to manage and then we can replicate to our data center for backup. I see this also as a great way to support Internet of Things initiatives and for enterprise branch-type locations.”

Designed for easy to deploy and affordable infrastructure at the edge, Scale Computing’s new HE500 series provides highly available solutions suited for remote multi-site deployments. The series is a set of hyper-converged infrastructure appliances that provide enterprise-class features to remote locations and boost edge computing capabilities with disaster recovery.

[Related: 2019 Software-Defined Data Center 50: Hot SDDC Vendors To Watch]

The HE500 includes Scale Computing’s HC3 HyperCore Software which provides an automated layer to create simple to operate functionality and the performance to meet modern edge computing requirements. Scale says the series provides almost instant failover and minimal downtown while also being able to run disaster recovery workloads reliably.

Amit Sandhu, senior IT consultant for Securicore, a Toronto-based solution provider and Scale partner, said the “very cost competitive” HE500 series fits the need for many of his customer’s edge desires.

“If the VPN tunnel of internet goes down, people can’t even log into their computers to do normal tasks. So it’s very important to have some resources that are local at every location so people can at least have a print server, domain server, local file server – and that’s where the HE500 really comes into play,” Sandhu. “It’s cost effective and easy to manage in those scenarios. We want something that’s set and forget, very little management overhead and Scale is providing the same feature-set that any enterprise grade solution would provide.”

The HE500 series, which is now generally available, can be purchased as either a 1U rack-mount or in a tower configuration. Pricing begins at $16,000.

Units can be configured with spinning disk, all-flash architecture or hybrid storage options, with either 32GB or 64GB RAM per appliance. Customers can choose between 1GbE or 10GbE networking interfaces and three different processor options.

IT research firm Gartner is predicting that edge computing will be a necessary requirement for all digital businesses by 2022. Many research firms are expecting global edge computing sales to skyrocket over the next several years. Last month, Allied Market Research projected that the worldwide edge computing market will reach $16.5 billion by 2025, up from $1.73 billion in 2017.

In an interview with CRN, Scale Computing CEO Jeff Ready said the new HE500 will drive channel sales in both large scale, highly distributed enterprises as well as its more traditional midmarket customers.

“Now that we have these smaller systems, you can actually go after bigger customers,” said Ready. “So big retail, big manufacturing around multiple deployments per manufacturing site times multiple sites. We see traction in the fast food, quick service restaurant industry. We see traction in warehousing and logistics. … There may be a conceptual solution to run a set of applications in a certain environment, but there was no tool by which to do that cost effectively. [With the HE500], Scale here is providing that platform. So for a customer now, ‘Can we actually deploy hardware and software at a location and be less than $10,000 in a single node system? Or for around $20,000, a highly available cluster, all-in [solution] including the gear and whatever applications the channel would be bringing?’ So it opens up a world of different customers in that way.”

Ready added that the new solution provides full disaster recovery (DR) for mission critical applications. “There’s an opportunity there to drive down the cost of a true DR, highly available site,” he said.

Althoff said Scale Computing sales are growing this year as early HC3 deployment are entering end of life while customers are also conducting refreshes with Windows Server 2008 R2 impending end of life approaches.

“We’re seeing a lot of customers renewing HC3 as well as staying within the Scale ecosystem and buying a new cluster as well as adding, with the advent of new replication and DR components that Scale’s added, we’re actually seeing a lot more single node DR targets for multi-site deployments which has been very exciting,” said Althoff. “In the next few months, we’ll see using these edge compute devices in places we would have previously sold a typical box like just a standard Windows server, where we can now get into some hyper-convergence because of the price point. … When Scale releases something, it’s real and it works as advertised. You can be sure that they know what they’re doing when they put a product out.”

Indianapolis, Ind.-based Scale Computing, who made Gartner’s Critical Capabilities for Hyper-Converged Infrastructure report, is a key vendor for hundreds of channel partners around edge computing, virtualization and hyper-converged solutions.

Ready told CRN that Scale Computing sales are soaring, up in the “high double-digits” in the first half of 2019 year over year. “As high as our growth is right now, what I expect through the second half of the year is it probably accelerates. Maybe we can get into the triple-digits growth by the end of the year, it’s certainly heading in that direction,” he said.

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