TFD15 Primer: Scale Computing

Scale ComputingIn a market with multiple options available for hyperconverged infrastructure, Scale Computing is no new face. Making their sixth appearance at a Tech Field Day event is a fairly good indication that they must be doing something right. Going into this, I was familiar with Scale primarily only in name, and not much deeper than that.

Scale is a big player in the SMB HCI space, and I touch on why that likely is below. But that isn’t to say that they are a SMB-only solution.

TIPPING THE MONETARY SCALES IN YOUR FAVOUR

Something that immediately caught my attention with Scale Computing was their pricing … and it is a few different aspects of their pricing that I find interesting. Although I have heard that Scale is economically friendly, I have never looked into it prior to now. Amazingly enough, they print prices right in their sales brochure! The SMB IT Manager in me almost fell out of my chair when I saw those prices, in a good way 🙂

First off, having a vendor openly publish prices is fairly uncommon. But seeing that I can get a well stocked three-node kit for about $25,000 – that is where the leg up on the competition becomes apparent. For a lot of larger organizations, the cost isn’t a big deal – the potential for lost revenue makes spending large sums of money much easier. But for SMBs, that tends to be a bit different. Every cost hits the bottom line, and large costs can’t always be offset.

The best part about that price is it includes the hypervisor. That is to say, you don’t need to worry about additional licensing costs outside of your guest VMs. Scale’s hypervisor, HyperCore, leverages KVM, a free and open source hypervisor. In a world where VMware rules and Hyper-V is in its shadow, does a third hypervisor makes sense? KVM turned 10 earlier this year, so it has been around the block a few times. Scale does offer support, so it isn’t like you’ll be left in the cold either.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

Hyperconverged is not a new market anymore. Heck, we are even seeing variations on it such as Datrium’s Open Convergence philosophy. So where does that leave Scale Computing? They have been doing this for years, and by all accounts the product is solid. But when you consider that they run KVM for a hypervisor, and not one of the “bigger” ones such as VMware or Hyper-V, is that enough to exclude them from conversations? Personally, I don’t think it should.

A career in IT means constant learning. As we see a shift towards the DevOps culture we are seeing a lot of traditional admins picking up coding skills. We know that as an industry we must learn new things. Just because you may not have a KVM skillset doesn’t mean that it should be something to be afraid of. By all means, I’m not saying skip any sort of due diligence. Rather, the point I am trying to make is that switching hypervisors isn’t the “crazy talk” decision that it used to be a few years ago. There is a lot to discuss with it, but what used to be an immediate “no” should now more of a “let’s talk about that”.

Of note is that VMware recently announced their HCI Acceleration Kit which they are claiming will come in starting right around the $25,000 mark. Nutanix also has their Xpress line which is aimed at SMBs, with starting costs in the same ballpark. Interesting times are ahead.

Be sure to hop on the live stream and catch Scale Computing Thursday, September 28, 13:00 – 15:00 PDT.

Disclaimer: I was invited to participate in Tech Field Day as a delegate. All of my expenses, including food, transportation, and lodging are being covered by Gestalt IT. I did not receive any compensation to write this post, nor was I requested to write this post. Anything written above was on my own accord.

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