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Scale Computing bares teeth at VMware, reveals more SCRIBE details

Binning GPFS, integrating with HC3 - but as for flash...

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Scale Computing is going to use its new SCRIBE object store to replace the GPFS element in its HC3 converged server/storage/virtualisation systems.

SCRIBE was announced yesterday by Scale Computing. The Register has today received more information about whether it would be sold as stand-alone software or be integrated into the HC3 hardware/software products.

Scale's head of marketing, Vanessa Alvarez, said of SCRIBE's genesis: "We took a step back and realised in order to take our customers into the software-defined world, we needed to build our storage from the ground up and architect it to support more dynamic environments."

It's object nature is only partial, continues Alvarez. "SCRIBE is an object based store - not object storage in the traditional sense - but it looks at everything as objects, which allows us to do granular quality of service and data placement. We have eliminated the need for a virtual storage appliance), and have direct access to the hypervisor (KVM)."

Moreover, SCRIBE will become part of HC3: "SCRIBE will be the underlying object-based store, which replaces the current file system GPFS, now owning the whole stack. At this time, we have no plans to sell the software only; today customers still buy boxes, that's the reality. Selling an integrated architecture of software and hardware simplifies the deployment, allowing our customers to not worry about whether it's going to run properly or not.”

Integration will take place across the next few releases; first quarter 2014 is the target but Scale doesn't plan to integrate flash at this time.

The HC3 systems use SATA drives with HC3x using faster SAS disks. According to Alvarez, users "can mix/match nodes [and] bigger configurations are coming ... Our sweet spot continues to be the mid-market but we have seen significant demand from larger organisations who love the simplified architecture."

She also took a swipe at VMware's Virtual SAN announcement and its effect on partners: "VMware also realised that VSA is really an obstacle in the path, and has said with the announcement of VSAN, that you don't need the VSA. What does that mean for Nutanix? Simplivity? Who does leverage VSA? VMware aren't playing so nice with its partners - again."

What does the project name SCRIBE stand for? "Scale Computing Reliable Intelligent Block Engine", El Reg is told, although this may change as the project gets, er, productised. ®

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