Scale is placing its bet on the SMB space, and the latest changes to its platform bring more of the simplicity that market wants.
Hyperconverged solutions vendor Scale Computing has announced the 6.0 release of its HC3 platform, with the changes following a theme of improving ease of use for SMBs and at the departmental level of enterprises.
While still a start-up, Scale has had an interesting evolution. As their name suggests, they started out as a maker of scale-out storage solutions, and their customers included larger firms who desired the ‘scalability.’ But from that storage base, the company soon pivoted to hyperconverged, leveraging its storage to do so, and launched the HC3 platform at the end of 2012. Their focus, like the hyperconverged vendors generally, was on midmarket companies. However, Scale has increasingly determined their sweet spot to be a little lower in the market, within the SMB space, and the changes with the product in this new release are intended to make it more attractive there.
“We sometimes see Nutanix and Simplivity when we compete, but when we do it usually means one of us is in the wrong room,” said Jason Collier, Scale Computing’s CTO and Founder. “They are more upmarket from us. We have very different price points. We see VMware as our primary competitors. When we were selling the pure scale-out storage, we did have some bigger customers, because at that point we were still trying to find out where our product was a fit.”
Collier said that Scale’s focus now is in SMBs, and midmarket companies with small IT shops.
“The question for us is – what does the IT department look like,” he said. “We focus on the 1-5 man IT shops where no one is a specialist, and where VAR partners tend to be the consultants to keep it all up and running.” Scale, which sells entirely through channel partners, relies on the VARs who work those markets.
“Our best resellers are smaller regional guys that are in tier two size cities, and who often serve a wide radius,” Collier said.
“None of these components used by these small IT shops were designed with virtualization in mind, so what HC3 does is eliminate all the stuff in the middle, to provide server, virtualization and storage all in same appliance, and also providing high availability,” Collier added. “The enterprise has the resources to manage that complexity, so they don’t need the simplicity that hyperconverged can give you.”
To appeal to that type of IT administrator, the HC3 interface has been simplified, to create streamlined workflows with a new intuitive design and little learning curve. Patented HyperCore software handles the heavy lifting of VM failover and data redundancy. Pop-up notifications display in-process user actions, alerts and processes to present users with relevant information about active events on the system.
“The old user interface was also easy to use, but this was foundational for taking it mobile, because the new interface looks good on tablet or a smartphone,” Collier said. “Part of the simplicity is accessibility – being able to reboot a machine from your smartphone. The old interface also wasn’t as efficient once you got above 400 VMs.”
The streamlined workflows also significantly reduces the number of clicks required by 60 per cent.
“Before it was more wizard style, and now you assign all components from a single window,” Collier said. “We want this to be as simple as possible.”
Other enhancements now allow users to combine VMs into logical groups via tagging and set multiple tags for easy filtering through spotlight search functionality that matches names and descriptions for quick access in larger environments. Snapshot, cloning and replication functionality are now integrated into the card view of each VM for easy administration.
Scale Computing’s 6.0 release is available now. TheHC3 comes in three models, the HC1000, HC2000 and HC4000, with the HC1000 starting at $USD 25,500, the HC2000 starting at $USD 37,500, and the HC3000 starting at $USD 67,500.