The new partnership is the logical effect of both the initiative by Scale to deepen its enterprise penetration and their recent partnership with Google.
Indianapolis-based hyper-converged vendor Scale Computing, which started out with a clear focus on the SMB space and parts of the mid-market, has been pushing upmarket in the last two years. That in turn has compelled them to address the more rigorous security concerns of the enterprise. To address this, they have announced a new partnership with Mississauga ON-based WinMagic.
“We have spent the last several years working hard to build a foundation to grow the business,” said Alan Conboy, of the Office of the CTO at Scale. “We started out focused on the SMB and the bottom half of the midmarket, but we have come upstream quite a bit. The foundational work is largely complete. Our recent HC3 Cloud Unity partnership with Google allows HC3 to run in the Google cloud so that it appears like any other Scale node, and is very important for us.”
When the focus was on the SMB and smaller midmarket, the issues of encryption and intelligent key management were basically left to the customer.
“We took a very hands-off approach,” Conboy said. “As long as a key management vendor let you run it as a VM on HC3, that was good. As might be expected, customers reported varying degrees of satisfaction with this. We wanted a way to make it all easy and portable and provide peace of mind.”
Enterprise customers in particular wanted a more comprehensive solution, and the HC3 Cloud Unity partnership with Google also precipitated the WinMagic collaboration. The hybrid cloud solution with Google that makes it easy for organizations to move application workloads between on-prem and the cloud requires constant data security for the moving workloads.
“As we have gone upmarket, where requirements for things like FIPS 140-2 and HIPAA compliance are much stronger, demand for encryption increased. So we started looking at who in this business would be the best fit for us – not just technically but with the corporate direction of how we do business as well. We looked at almost everyone in the space, and we concluded that the right fit was WinMagic. Their SecureDoc Cloud encryption and intelligent key management solution is simple to implement. They are cost effective, and they have a fantastic track record.”
Scale sells entirely through channel partners, and partner input was a factor in WinMagic’s selection.
“There was some channel push for them,” Conboy said. “We pay attention to what VAR partners say, and one of the steps we took in researching this was listening to VAR partners about the platforms. We had partners who also worked with them, and we universally got stellar feedback on the WinMagic team – that they were a fantastic, flexible, engaged bunch of folks. That applied on both the go-to-market and engineering sides.”
Being able to address portability issues was a top priority.
“We wanted to make sure we were solving the real problems in the encryption space,” Conboy said. “A lack of portability has been an issue in key management. Making sure we were able to solve all the issues between WinMagic’s key management servers and us was critical, so that the capability is completely portable.”
The result, Conboy said, is a security capability for unified public, private and hybrid cloud environments that is extremely cost-effective.
“Our partnerships with WinMagic and Google allow us to offer this at a price point that nobody else can match,” he said. “It’s a completely hybrid solution that lets you leverage on-prem when it’s appropriate and cloud when it’s appropriate. It’s all interconnected. From a packaging and pricing perspective, we are able to offer bundles suitable for the whole range from ‘mom and pops’ to the distributed enterprise. They are half the cost of several others.”
The validated joint solution is available now through both WinMagic’s and Scale’s reseller channels, although out of the gate Conboy said that it’s logical to expect the focus will be on the Scale side.
“We are the experts in HCI, so I expect the main focus will be ours,” he said. “They will bring us in on deals and we will jointly move together. As we move forward though, I expect some WinMagic resellers will be able to pull the triggers on their own.”