New Scale Computing HC3 virtualization platform delivers latest hypervisor-enabled storage offerings



Scale Computing announced Tuesday integration of flash storage into its hyper-converged infrastructure to improve I/O performance out of the box with an ideal level of affordability, simplicity, scalability and availability in a virtualization platform for small and mid-market datacenters. Its HC3 virtualization platform can now give organizations the opportunity to improve I/O performance without traditional roadblocks of high cost and management complexity.

Scale Computing’s HC3 platform brings storage, servers, virtualization, and high availability together in a single, comprehensive system. With no virtualization software to license and no external storage to buy, HC3 solutions lower out-of-pocket costs and radically simplify the infrastructure needed to keep applications running. HC3 products make the deployment and management of a highly available and scalable infrastructure as easy to manage as a single server.

While most hyperconverged products integrate storage using a Virtual Storage Appliance (VSA), Scale’s HC3 merges storage with the hypervisor allowing for a streamlined IO path and superior performance with less hardware resources. This architecture eliminates the need for a Controller VM that runs alongside critical workloads competing for resources.

Even in the SMB, performance matters. HC3 utilizes a technique called wide-striping to make use of all drives in all nodes of the cluster, aggregating the drives capabilities for maximum read/write IOPs. For those workloads that would benefit from the added performance provided by SSD, Scale’s tiering functionality uses the same wide-striping technique across all available SSDs in the cluster.

This update to the HC3 HyperCore storage architecture adds hybrid storage including SSD and spinning disk with HyperCore Enhanced Automated Tiering (HEAT) that combines automation with simple, granular tuning parameters to further define flash storage utilization on a per virtual disk basis for optimal performance.

Through an easy-to-use slide bar, users can optionally tune SSD priority allocation to more effectively utilize SSD storage where needed from no SSD for a virtual disk, to virtually all SSD by turning it to 11. Every workload is different and even a small amount of flash prioritization tuning, combined with the automated, intelligent I/O mapping, can have a big impact on the overall performance of flash storage in the HC3 cluster.

Unlike other storage systems that use flash storage only for disk caching, Scale’s HC3 virtualization platform adds flash to the total storage pool using the efficient, highly available HC3 storage architecture. Users will immediately and automatically take advantage of the flash I/O benefits without any special knowledge about flash storage. The integrated flash storage is easy to use like the other HC3 features, at a low cost that Scale customers have come to expect from their data center solutions.

“Hyper-convergence is nothing if not about simplicity and cost.  But it is also about performance, especially in the SMB to mid-size enterprises where most, if not all workloads will simultaneously run on a single cluster of nodes,” said Arun Taneja, founder and consulting analyst of the Taneja Group. “Introducing flash into a hard disk based system is easy; the question is how do you do it so that it maintains low cost and simplicity while boosting performance. This is what Scale has done in these models. The only decision the IT admin and the business user need to make is to determine the importance of the application and its priority. After that flash is invisible to them. The Only thing visible is better application performance. This is how it should be”

Scale’s HyperCore architecture eases virtual machine storage management without VSAs, SAN protocols and file system overhead. VMs have direct access to virtual disks, allowing storage operations to occur on a VM by VM basis. HyperCore applies logic to stripe data across multiple physical storage devices in the cluster to aggregate capacity and performance. The HyperCore backplane network lets any node and any VM access any disk and is performance optimized to scale as nodes are added.

“Every organization can benefit from the performance improvements that flash storage provides but until now the economics of deploying it at SMBs and SMEs simply wasn’t feasible,” said Jeff Ready, CEO and co-founder of Scale Computing.  “While some vendors have added flash to their offerings, it has pretty much been a ‘me too’ feature or as a way to mask the shortcomings of their hyper-convergence approach.  Now, for the first time, organizations of all sizes can deploy flash storage and crank it all the way to 11 at an affordable price and without the technological expertise required by competitive offerings.”

Scale is deploying flash as part of its HC2150 and HC4150 appliances. Available in 4- or 8-drive units, Scale’s latest offerings include one 400 or 800GB SSD with three NL-SAS HDD in 1-6TB capacities and memory up to 256GB, or two 400 or 800GB SSD with 6 NL-SAS HDD in 1-2TB capacities and up to 512 GB memory respectively. Network connectivity for either system is achieved through two 10GbE SFP+ switches. Existing Scale customers have the opportunity to integrate flash SSD into their existing HC3 clusters.

One Response to “New Scale Computing HC3 virtualization platform delivers latest hypervisor-enabled storage offerings”

  1. Jeff Says:

    Thanks for the coverage! We have pricing information available here: bit.ly/HC3Price

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