Scale Computing's classic vendor BS

The subject of this blog is a briefing this week with Scale Computing. And a major factor in why it’s getting written about here is the laughable levels of chutzpah involved on Scale’s part.

The occasion for the conversation was Scale Computing’s re-launch of its HC3 “datacentre in a box”, which is a converged storage stack, that comprises server, storage and virtualisation hypervisor in one device. The HC3 comes in 1U nodes each holding four 3.5″ SAS or SATA drives. You can have a minimum of three nodes and up to eight, which will serve about 100 VMs.

I say re-launch because they actually unveiled the device in August in the US at VMworld. This week’s launch was at IP Expo in London. Why do vendors think we don’t know this is a re-packaged, warmed-over, not-really-a-launch launch?

But, this was the killer. Scale Computing’s HC3 has virtualisation built in. Is it VMware perhaps? Or Hyper-V? Or even Citrix? Nope. It’s Red Hat’s KVM. Naturally, I questioned the choice of only offering such a niche hypervisor.

Now, I’m not knocking Red Hat KVM’s technology. It’s a hosted hypervisor, and as such runs much closer to the hardware than any of the household names in virtualisation and is therefore more efficient.

In response, one of the Scale guys attempted to convince me, “It’s the most popular hypervisor on the planet.” I asked them to back this up and I’m still waiting for some emailed evidence, but I was told at the time that Red Hat KVM is in use with some big names in the cloud, like Rackspace, IBM and Google. I haven’t verified this, by the way.

Anyway, it turns out Red Hat KVM doesn’t even register on the V-index survey of most popular server virtualisation hypervisors, which at the last count had a ranking of: VMware 67.6%; Microsoft Hyper-V 16.4%, Citrix 14.4%, and; other 1.6%.

So much for, “The most popular hypervisor on the planet.” Red Hat KVM comprises a fraction of 1.6% of hypervisors in use. That’s not to say it’ll always be that way but Scale’s hyperbole here was wide of the mark for now, like several parsecs wide of the mark, and by the end of the call some rowing back had been done to say the least.

It also baffles me slightly why Scale Computing would try to tout the supposed high-end enterprise/cloud credentials of the Red Hat hypervisor in what is avowedly a mid-market play that aims to compete with the likes of Nutanix, Pivot3 and SimpliVity.

Anyway, the lesson, dear vendors, is if you don’t have any actual news, then please feel free to tell me massive ridiculous porkies that I can call you on and use as the hook for an interesting discussion on hypervisor types and their relative popularity.