Scale Computing partners with Mellanox to add networking to hyper-converged solution

Adding networking to the server, storage and virtualization capabilities of their HC3 solution gives Scale a complete bundle that responds to customer requests for such an addition.

Jeff Ready

Jeff Ready, Scale Computing’s CEO

Indianapolis based hyper-converged vendor Scale Computing has announced a new partnership with Mellanox Technologies. The relationship will provide a new bundled offering for Scale’s HC3 solution that will add a scalable networking component. The joint solution will both provide a fuller turnkey solution for Scale’s partners to sell, and enhance the attractiveness of the solution to more customers outside Scale’s SMB and ROBO core.

Customers had been asking for a networking component within Scale’s solution, said Jeff Ready, the company’s CEO.

“When we go into a customer with our partners, most of the time we are replacing most or all of the legacy servers and storage and virtualization – because that’s what we do,” Ready said. “We replace everything except the networking, operating under the premise that the customers have their own. We have, however, increasingly found that customers are often looking to make changes to the networking as well, and want it to work seamlessly with the rest of the new infrastructure.”

As a result, Scale began searching for a company with a networking solution which they believed would complement their HC3 well.

“Some time ago, we started looking at different vendors to partner with for an integrated solution, so we didn’t have to become a networking company,” Ready said.

Ready said they found that Mellanox, with their SX1012 switch and NEO cloud network orchestration software, was an ideal complement to Scale.

“We liked that their switches enable customers to start very small — many of ours are on 1 GB switches – but can scale out to 10 GB or 40 GB backbones as the customer grows,” Ready said. “That aligns perfectly with our message of start small and grow. The switches are also very simple and easy to manage. They also have a nice interface that integrates with the HC3 – the Mellanox Neo – to manage all the switching infrastructure. Customers just have one place to go.”

At this point in time, the Mellanox software has its own interface within XC3, so there are two panes of glass to manage, but the roadmap is to gradually meld them into one.

“The plan is eventually to provide full integration over multiple phases, so that you have a single pane of glass to manage,” Ready said.

Scale Computing has been somewhat unique in the hyper-converged space in its focus on the SMB market, as well as ROBO deployments within larger enterprises. While Ready stressed that they have no intention of deserting that core, he does think that the integrated HC3 and SX1012 bundled offering with Mellanox will also make them more attractive upmarket.

“We own the brand for SMB companies, but the ability of the Mellanox fabric to scale from very small to very large deployments is significant,” he said. “We have some forthcoming customer announcements that will take advantage of some of those higher performance capabilities.”

As to whether the Mellanox bundle will become a core product or more of a niche offering for specific use cases, Ready said that only time will tell.

“The reason we went down this path though, was that we had a lot of customers requesting we provide the networking fabric,” he said. “Given that, I think it will become one of the more standard offerings that we have.”

The HC3 and SX1012 bundled solution is available now through the Scale reseller channel, which is their route to market.