Scale Computing looks to get larger deals by going smaller with single processor HE500 series

The new model, designed for a single processor Lenovo SR250 server, is aimed at chains with very small deployments which typically have been using a PC at these remote sites.

The Scale Computing HE500

Hyperconverged infrastructure [HCI] vendor Scale Computing has announced their HE500 Series, a new low-end model specifically designed for edge IT infrastructure deployments. It has a starting price of as little as $USD 5500 for a four-core single-processor unit with all flash drives and 32 GB of RAM.

Scale built up its business in the SMB space, with small two-server deployments, but the HE500 actually cuts against the trend of their direction in the last couple of years.

“We started selling into the SMB, and we have gotten dragged into larger deals,” said Kevin Holmes, VP of North America Sales at Scale Computing. The jewel in the crown here has been Ahold Delhaize, an international food retail group headquartered in Zaandam, Netherlands, with 6,600 supermarkets across 11 countries. While the number of units is large, the individual deployments are small.

So why come up with an even smaller one?

Kevin Holmes, VP of North America Sales at Scale Computing

“There are a few different areas where we have seen the need  for this,” Holmes said. “One is when we are in a conversation with a prospect who has a lot of really small stores, which is typically a retailer – a Dunkin Donuts kind of company. These kinds of locations do not typically even run an actual server. They run a desktop PC. So with the HE500, we can offer them a new way of deploying IT at the edge, which still costs a little bit more than a PC, but gives them much better protection and remote management. They will spend maybe $2000 more per unit than they would on desktop PCs, in deals where hundreds or thousands of units are involved. This will get us much larger deals by going smaller.”

Manufacturing is another good use case for this. One example here would be propane tank dealers, who have large numbers of small distribution centres.

“What they need is a fanless small system, just to run a few VMs, and no moving parts.” Holmes indicated.

MSPs are also another logical target for the HE500.

“All the same functionality that we create for the edge translates very well to MSPs,” Holmes said. “A lot of our MSPs deal with SMB clients, but have ones who just may need a single server. The MSP deploys a server at the client location and replicate it to themselves. They want it to be simple and very easy to manage remotely, and we also have a subscription price for the software.”

Last fall, Scale Computing and Lenovo officially announced their partnership, which had been in practical effect for two years in the field. The HE500 series leverages this partnership.

“The HE500 is on the Lenovo SR250 single-processor server,” Holmes said. “The smallest footprint is 32 GB of RAM, and it can do up to 64 GB. Obviously, more RAM is better, but there is more hardware cost associated with it. The HE500 fits nicely with the SR250 in terms of where we see it fitting in the market. Lenovo’s goals with their product matches ours.”

Holmes also stressed that the advantages of Scale’s software works well with the Lenovo server to lower the price point.

“The HE500 will have either 32 GB or 64 GB of RAM,” he said. “Most competitors are going to use 24 GB to run their VSA, while we only use 4 GB of RAM for that. These small deployments is where the efficiency of our software fits in. Our competitors can’t run off these little servers. So they have to overbuy the hardware, which puts them into higher prices.”

The HE500 now fits under the HE1000 in the Scale portfolio, with the latter starting where the former tops up, at 64 GB of RAM. The HE 500 starts at $USD 5500 for an all flash drive, 4 core-processor deployment, with 32 GB of RAM. It is available now.