The platform is built on APC’s micro data center express infrastructure — ready-to-deploy racks — with Scale Computing’s hyperconverged software, HC3 HyperCore, running on top. Partner Ingram Micro will sell the platform as a single SKU.
In addition to its smaller size, the pre-packaged platform includes automated virtualization, compute, storage, and power management resources, along with built-in redundancy. This makes it well-suited for remote edge locations, which may have little or no dedicated IT staff, and it allows companies to standardize all of their edge data centers, said Jeff Ready, CEO of Scale Computing.
“When you think about traditional data centers for the last however many years, it was very common for the IT director to standardized on a certain brand server, or often a specific server from that brand,” Ready said. “When you start moving away from those regional data centers, out to the edge, you’re not dropping said server into an existing data center or even a standard data center — it may be a closet. We saw the opportunity to go out to these edge locations and standardize the entire micro data center. APC has a long history of helping build data centers, and scale has built software that can run applications at the edge without needing staff, so it’s a natural fit.”
One customer, Benchmark Electronics, rolled out this data-center-in-a-box product at 27 edge locations, Ready added.
“The plug-and-play devices are easy for staff at any location, regardless of their technical capabilities, to get up and running quickly without having to know how to install, deploy, and maintain the infrastructure,” said Stacy Black, corporate director of global IT infrastructure and operations at Benchmark Electronics, in a statement. “The Micro Data Center in a Box will also ensure uniform configuration and installation across company’s edge locations.”
The partners will face competition from several other vendors tailoring their HCI products for edge deployments. Nutanix recently closed a $20 million deal with an agency in the U.S. Department of Defense. The customer will use its HCI platform to operate 15 remote sites running two different networks. Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Pivot3, and VMware have also released their own HCI products in recent months specifically designed for remote and branch offices and edge locations.