StorMagic, Hivecell partner on first HCI PaaS for the Edge

The partnership between two edge-focused HCI vendors will see StorMagic’s SvSAN software provide High Availabiity to Hivecell’s edge  Platform-as-a-Service devices.

StorMagic’s President and CRO Brian Grainger (L) and Hivecell co-founder and CEO Jeffrey Ricker (R)

Edge-focused hyperconverged infrastructure [HCI] vendor StorMagic and Hivecell, which provides HCI as a service at the edge, have launched a partnership which will see StorMagic’s SvSAN software go into Hivecell’s edge hardware devices to provide them with High Availability.

Hivecell was incorporated in 2008, and really started serious design work around six years ago. The founders bootstrapped the company for the next four years, then did some angel money raising. They did a GA in late 2019, and began to sell in earnest in early 2020. They sell through a hybrid model, in particular working direct with some software companies that had been struggling to push their applications out to the edge.

Two Hivecell boxes

“We have been looking at the edge problem for quite a while,” said Jeffrey Ricker, co-founder and CEO at Hivecell. “We are software engineers, so we looked for hardware off the shelf, but couldn’t find anything that worked. So we had to build it ourselves, for true edge deployments outside the data closet, which could deliver the simplicity of the cloud at the edge. So we built this thing – a small Hivecell box. It’s simple to install even a cluster. If you can deliver a pizza, you can install a Hivecell.”

The hardware was built for extreme simplicity as well as its small form factor.

“We designed the hardware which included the provisioning and monitoring system,” Ricker indicated. “It enables push-button provisioning of applications. What we have designed with StorMagic is push-button storage that is automatically configured for HA and are deployed to hundreds of thousands of places, all at the click of a button.”

“This is a very exciting partnership for both of us,” said Brian Grainger, president and CRO of StorMagic. “This solution is an industry-first edge Platform as-a-service PaaS.” Intel, with their storage technology and their sales channel, is the third member of the partnership.

The deal itself is a global OEM relationship where StorMagic’s SvSAN High Availability software will be sold as part of the HiveCell hardware.

“Both sides bring some really cool attributes to the table,” Grainger said. “We will leverage our sales, marketing and 500 channel partners around the globe in support of this. Hivecell will actually sell it, but we will be promoting and marketing it.”

Hivecell and StorMagic have the same core sweet spot.

“We service the same spaces – typically branches with no data closets and no techs on site,” Ricker said. This would include oil fields, quick service restaurant chains, retail chains and manufacturing, especially OT [Operational Technology].”

The two companies have been talking about partnering since 2018

“We met then at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona,” Ricker indicated. “We were focused then on ARM and Kubernetes, but the majority of customers are still x86, but need to go to the edge. We weren’t as familiar with that x86 area, so we were happy to partner with StorMagic and their edge expertise, once we finally had the resources to push this forward.”

Grainger also said that Hivecell is an ideal partner for them, because they really get the edge.

“One of the struggles that I’ve had with partnerships with larger companies is that edge is a subset of a much bigger portfolio of a large server company like HPE,” he stated. “They don’t have a clearly defined edge strategy.”

“We are happy to have StorMagic as one of our first strategic partners,” Ricker stated, “They are a greater partner for us because they know the edge so well. We will be building further upon this platform we have built together, starting with the OT space in manufacturing. We have two OT partnerships we will be announcing in the next month that will directly leverage this platform.”

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