Scale Computing, Lenovo formally announce major strategic partnership

Lenovo and Scale Computing have been working together for some time, but have now formally announced both a strategic partnership and a joint solution designed for the edge and suitable for organizations with many locations in highly distributed environments.

Jefff Ready, Scale Computing’s CEO

It’s not exactly a new news announcement. Lenovo and Scale Computing have been quietly working together for almost two years. It’s not even the first public announcement of the relationship. Lenovo – possibly inadvertently – referred to it in a keynote last month at their Transform 2.0 event in New York City. The relationship has now been publicly affirmed however, along with a new joint solution designed for the edge. And for both parties, but especially for Scale, as the smaller of the two companies, it is a very big deal.

“This is the culmination of what has been a long-standing and somewhat under the radar partnership we have had for some time,” said Jefff Ready, Scale Computing’s CEO. “We have been working deals together, and working with them on and off for a couple of years. This now takes it to the next level, with a formal partnership and a joint product offering around Edge computing – especially the retail edge.”

The Scale Computing HC3 Edge Platform on Lenovo Servers is designed for edge infrastructure in a fairly broad market, running from global retailers through distributed enterprises down to small and medium-sized businesses.

“Some workloads just should run better locally, for a variety of reasons,” Ready said. “A local server today may no longer be a big rack of gear. The universal thing that these site deployments have is that they tend to have no IT people on site in these highly distributed environments, much less an expert in virtualization.”

In those environments, Ready said Scale Computing has unique advantages.

“Scale software has always been unique because of our ease of use and self-healing capabilities,” he said. “It’s not that problems don’t happen in our infrastructure. It’s that our software detects mitigates and corrects those on its own, so is good in these environments. The self-healing is what appeals to customers. The HCI element doesn’t often even come up. The majority of our IP is around the self healing, which extends beyond the HCI. At the edge, the self-healing architecture makes the difference when something breaks and no one is there.”

Ready spotlighted a lighthouse customer for this solution, Ahold Delhaize, an international food retail group headquartered in Zaandam, Netherlands. They operate supermarkets and e-commerce businesses across 35 brands, over 6,600 stores across 11 countries, and serve over 50 million customers each week.

“Ahold Delhaize use the joint solution to run all kinds of mission critical things – including security, analytics, sensors, and temperature controls,” Ready said.

The formal partnership itself is a full-on OEM relationship.

“It’s global in nature,” Ready stated. “Before, our integration was meet-in-the-channel. Now, the integration will now happen higher up in the stream. We will go out with Lenovo to train their channel and distributors. The solution can also be offered through our own channel.”

Ready also stressed that the partnership was important because while Lenovo had had a lot of focus on the edge, previous to this, they had not worked much with Scale Computing.

“Historically, Lenovo has not been a big hardware partner of ours, so we are looking to bring that into the fold as well,” he said. “Today, we have about 100 or so Lenovo partners in our partner program, although they are mainly in EMEA and Canada. There have been fewer in the U.S. until this point.”

The joint solution with Lenovo will be open to the broad Scale community.

“It is intended to be a broad partnership, although the focus will naturally be on partners who serve that highly distributed business, although there should also be an SMB and midmarket play,” Ready said.