Scale Computing, APC bring Micro Data Center in a box solution to North America through Ingram Micro

The joint solution leverages Schneider Electric’s offerings, to provide a solution of racks, power, and HCI that Ingram Micro will integrate as well as distribute.

In late 2017, Scale Computing announced a major new partnership with APC by Schneider Electric, whose first manifestation was a joint Micro Data Center in a Box solution that was sold in EMEA. Now the two companies are expanding that relationship, bringing the solution to North America – but with an added, and critically important, new wrinkle. Ingram Micro will be the exclusive distributor here, and will not only pick, pack and ship the joint solution, but will do all the integration and assembly work in their Integration facility.

“We’ve been working with Scale on several initiatives, and have gone to market with them on a ‘data centre in a box concept’ in EMEA. said Cissy Walker, Global Director of IT Alliances at APC by Schneider Electric. “This relationship is very different from the one in EMEA however. Their software goes to market in our APC Micro Data Center, initially through Ingram Micro, under a single SKU. It’s ready to plug and play on arrival at the customer’s premises.”

The solution leverages the Micro Data Center portfolio of infrastructure solutions from Schneider Electric, APC’s parent company.

“APC Micro Data Center is a portfolio of racks from Schneider Electric that are deployed with the UPS and IT equipment, all racked and stacked and shipped,” Walker said. “It all comes ready to go with the UPS. It is highly energy efficient and easy to deliver.” It integrates Scale Computing’s HC3 HyperCore software, and the joint platform provides a range of shared automated virtualization, compute, storage and power management resources.

“We have a case study with an early adopter, Benchmark Electronics, who was also an early Scale customer,” said Doug Howell, Director of Global Alliances at Scale Computing. “They are a 40 year-old company with 27 locations, each of which operated autonomously, with their own IT operations. A new CIO came in to federate and unify them all and said ‘This is perfect,’ regarding this solution. She had been trying to figure out how to deploy Scale clusters in all these locations.”

Today, most of the messaging for this offering is at the kind of traditional edge deployments where Scale has been strong historically – ROBO and lights out environments. Walker indicated that they want to leverage the broader Schneider Electric connection to move beyond that, however.

“We want to expand the market to add more of the Schneider tools, in deployments around things like health care and manufacturing,” she said “As we move forward, we can look at specific verticals to go after.”

Howell said that APC has already delivered in helping Scale consolidate its presence with some larger customers.

“In our early days, 2012-13, we had much smaller customers,” he indicated. “We now get pulled into much bigger deals, like a very large grocery chain in Europe. There’s no way we could get into these if not for a partner like APC.”

The partnering with Scale Computing is the first time that APC has had this kind of preconfigured offering with an integrated HCI. For now, Ingram has exclusive rights to integrate and distribute the solution, although this could broaden out over time.

“Ingram Micro is providing white glove service with this,” Howell said. “They build the materials, and pull the parts together, to provide a ready-to-plug-in system. Ingram’s integration facility is early days, but they are already pretty good at it.”

Howell stressed that Ingram Micro will make this offering massively scalable, benefiting APC and Scale significantly – but especially Scale Computing, because they are a much smaller company than APC.

“Using the Ingram configuration service and the giant amount of resellers that they have is big for us,” Howell said. “Scale is not anywhere near as big as APC and we are getting introduced to a lot of partners we have not seen. This turnkey solution through Ingram is a big win for both of us.”

Ingram Micro’s role in integrating the solution allows it to be made widely available to partners of both companies. .

“We plan to use Ingram for our joint channel with Scale to do joint channel and sales enablement,” Walker said. “Any of either channels can sell it – APC partners don’t need to be certified on Scale.”

“Ingram’s breadth will assist both of us here,” Howell said. “An APC partner doesn’t have to be a Scale partner to sell this, but we would love to talk to them. Both of us hope that we will add new partners based on this complete turnkey solution.”