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Scale targets SMEs with hyper-converged hybrid flash HC1150

Hyper-converged infrastructure maker Scale Computing targets SMEs with hybrid flash sub-$25,000 HC1150, just weeks after rival Nutanix launched entry-level Xpress

Scale Computing has added an entry-level hybrid flash hyper-converged infrastructure product to its portfolio, named the HC1150.

The HC1150 uses enterprise MLC (eMLC) flash and nearline SAS spinning disk. Flash capacities range from 480GB to 1.9TB while NL-SAS capacities span 1TB to 6TB.

HC series hyper-converged products use Scale's own hypervisor and combine server and storage in one box.

The new entry-level box – with a list price of $24,500 – is aimed at small and medium-sized enterpris (SME) customers and has Intel's 5th generation Broadwell CPUs. The launch comes soon after another hyper-converged infrastructure pioneer, Nutanix, launched its Xpress products targeted at SME customers.

The HC1150 should provide I/O performance of between 20,000 IOPS and 30,000 IOPS on a three-node cluster (the minimum recommended by Scale). This figure is for a ratio of 67% to 33% reads/writes at a 4Kb block size.

The HC1150 has eMLC flash, in contrast to the rest of the Scale flash product range, which has the better performing single-level cell (SLC) drives.

Scale co-founder and chief evangelist Jason Collier said this is because the HC1150 is built to provide different levels of performance.

“SLC is good for long-term intensive write operations workloads and offers a good balance between reads and writes, he said. EMLC is a more general purpose workhorse and that's where the 1150 is targeted, filling out the product portfolio for the 10 to 20 VM range.

Read more about hyper-converged infrastructure

  • Hyperscale computing and storage are the norm for web giants. Hyper-converged scenarios make it possible for small and medium-sized enterprises to gain the advantages of combined server/storage nodes
  • Hyper-converged storage/compute poses a threat to standalone SAN/NAS in the datacentre

Scale Computing recently added flash to its larger capacity 2150 and 4150 products. These use SLC as well as the last-generation Intel Haswell chip, although they will be Broadwell-equipped by the third quarter of 2016, said Collier.

Hyper-converged products combine compute and storage in one box with virtualisation capability. This is a trend inspired, in part, by the modular Hyperscale architectures pioneered by web giants such as Google and Facebook.

They have emerged in recent years as competition to discrete server and storage products, and key suppliers include Scale Computing, Simplivity and Vmware’s EVO:Rail.

The products are suited to organisations without well-resourced IT departments because servers and storage are easily deployed and managed from single nodes or clusters. The company has also upgraded its spinning disk-only HC1100, with increased RAM capacity, a move from SATA drives to NL-SAS and Broadwell CPUs.

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