Scale Computing makes play for Nutanix's entry level market

Three-node cluster setup has flash and disk tiers

Scale Computing boxes with kitty
Cat belonging to tame El Reg sysadmin blogger Trevor Pott with a Scale machine

Storage startup Scale Computing is offering a hyper-converged three-node cluster for less than $25,000, and undercuts Nutanix's Xpress SMB entry-level offering by $500.

The company, which is is focussed on the SMB/mid-market, has replaced its entry-level HC1000 with an all-disk HC1100 and a hybrid flash/disk HC1150 featuring automated tiering.

The HC1100 has 64GB of DRAM per node instead of the HC1000's 32GB; per-node CPU core count increases from four to six (1.7GHz Broadwell E5-2620 v4) cores, and the SATA disks change to four 1TB SAS 7,200rpm drives.

The HC1150 nodes also have 64GB of DRAM, eight 2.1GHz Broadwell cores, three 1TB SAS disks, and a single 480GB SSD. Both HC1100 and HC1150 have two 1GbitE network ports, and their enclosures are 1U high.

Scale says its entry-level HC1150 offers the same set of features as its larger HC2000 and HC4000 clusters. The tiering uses its HyperCore Enhanced Automated Tiering (HEAT) tech with a combination of built-in intelligence, data access patterns, and workload priority used to automatically place data on a cluster's storage tiers.

It claims its hyper-converged tri-node cluster is as easy to adopt as a single node virtualisation system. Scale has passed the 1,500 customer count, and 5,500 nodes have been sold.

Nutanix comparison

A Scale Computing spokesperson said: "Nutanix Xpress strips out Erasure Coding, encryption, multi-site DR, and availability domains just to name a few things. Likewise, they limit cluster growth to a maximum of four identical nodes and no more than two clusters per customer. In standard enterprise-focused vendor fashion, they took an enterprise-focused product, stripped out the features that made it appealing, and call it an SMB focused product."

"They did this because of the very inefficient approach of using a VSA based architecture, which forced them to cut out features so that their VSA's could have enough RAM/CPU to boot their platform without hardware specking themselves completely out of the market."

A Nutanix spokesperson said: "Thanks for the chance to comment but we’re not going to respond to this one."

The HC1150 and HC1100 are currently available through Scale's channel. Get a datasheet here. We're tols the HC1150's starting price of $24,500 includes a year of support. The HC1100 costs the same as the HC1000. ®




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