NEC, Scale Computing, collaborate on dense HCI solution targeted at SMBs

The new OEM relationship will see NEC market and sell the solution, which integrates Scale’s HC3 software with NEC’s D120h  Express 5800 high-density server.

The NEC HCI interface

Today, NEC Corporation of America and NEC Enterprise Solutions (EMEA) are announcing NEC HCI, a new hyperconverged infrastructure [HCI] solution resulting from a new strategic partnership and OEM relationship with Scale Computing. The new platform will be targeted primarily at the SMB space, and will be sold by NEC’s channel and direct sales force, supported by Scale.

The partnership brings NEC into the HCI market. Scale targets its HC3 platform primarily at smaller two-server deployments, although they have increased their presence above the SMB space in the last couple of years with some large ROBO deployments for enterprises with large numbers of relatively small locations. This focus on SMB and ROBO is what NEC was looking for in an HCI partner.

“For NEC, the key market here is the SMB, although there are fits in certain enterprise ROBO plays as well,” said Yehuda Hyman, a product manager at NEC. “A lot of our customers today want an HCI solution. That led us to try and build this relationship with Scale. They have an enterprise-class solution. But they work in the market that we are trying to target.”

NEC HCI integrates Scale’s software with NEC’s D120h  Express 5800 high-density server. The platform has the capability of hosting four individual server nodes. This results in a smaller data centre footprint, meaning greater efficiency and reduced infrastructure costs.

“The D120h Express 5800 four server nodes in a two-unit enclosure,” Hyman said. “It is common to just use three nodes and have an empty one where expansion can take place later. It provides a maximum amount of flexibility and control of power consumption.”

The appliances come pre-configured with three levels of configurations to meet specific workloads –base, mid-range and power. They can also be customized further to meet specific customer needs.

For Scale Computing, this is another of the strategic partnerships launched since the company launched their Strategic Sales unit a year ago.

“I came on board in January 2018,” said Dan Pierce, VP of strategic sales at Scale Computing. “Our sales are doing great, and we are growing our presence in North America and EMEA. Strategic Sales is focused specifically on expanding outside those markets, particularly into LatAm and APAC. It is also focused on expanding the strategic partners with whom we are working, and a big component of our work is the OEM business. The team’s focus is finding the right fit of OEM relationships, with the right fit of strategic partners and leveraging of resources.” A partnership with Lenovo, announced last fall, has been their major initiative to date.

The OEM deal with NEC will extend Scale’s reach further.

“We started talking with NEC a little over a year ago, and decided this was a great fit,” Pierce indicated.

Pierce said that the NEC relationship provides considerable flexibility for customers.

“In terms of sizing, this can be single node, three node, or four node, and will really enable right-sizing depending on need, based on workloads that the customer has,” he said.

The product will be sold by NEC and its channel partners, who number approximately 1000 in North America and EMEA combined.

“We have been doing many joint Go-to-Market activities around this together,” Hyman noted.

“While NEC will market and sell this, Scale will fully support and enable it, and we will collaborate extensively, including NEC’s upcoming Advantage [partner] Conference, June 3-5 in Orlando,” Pierce said.

The NEC HCI solution, powered by Scale Computing, is slated to be available within calendar Q2.

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