Intel is widely associated with computing to hone HCI to the edge

A server not much bigger than an Intel paperback with Scale Computing software inside can be used to put a Hyper Converged Infrastructure (HCI) environment on the edge with fewer machines and fewer people required to deploy and manage setup.

With Indianapolis-based Scale’s HC3 operating system installed, Scale Computing CEO Jeff Reddy said the NUC EEC product announced this week in Intel’s vision Ready for advanced environments in factories, retail or restaurants. These are areas with poor bandwidth, which are exacerbated by the mounds of data produced by the connected devices. This combination can quickly overwhelm the computing power of the network.

Ready said about one use case for his server, a company developed with Intel. The robot dumps all of its data and applications into the NUC EEC. So you process that data locally and then only the output, metadata, or whatever you want from that data output, goes to the server room, the data center, or the cloud. But you catch it all there.”

Mark Esayyan, Scale computing partner and president of KME Systems, an MSP based in Lake Forest, California, said his store not only sells and publishes Scale products, but also uses three of the office’s NUC servers.

“MSPs need to look at this product, because they don’t need to pay high-level engineers to run it,” he said. “It takes 60 minutes to prep. That’s from opening the box to the top and going. Jeff (ready) makes a meal. I don’t want ingredients and a recipe. The scale gives you a list of meals your customer wants.”

The Intel NUC EEC product is manufactured for unsupervised, non-IT environments and is centrally managed by computing scale user interface. Reddy said administrators there can run the apps anywhere they need it, while also reducing work for IT teams.

“Part of that is the reality of IT blue-collar people. We talk about the container application that you want to run locally. These are the exciting things that people love to talk about. But on the flip side of that, and I think our mid-market roots give us a very deep appreciation for this, And a lot of IT, and we still have to make it work,” Reddy said. This grocery store that might be very good at containerized apps and video surveillance and everything. They also have a 37-year-old POS system. It’s not cloud native. They still haven’t picked it up from Windows 2011. It’s hell and they’re out of this world. Magical. This is just IT and this is a reality. It’s not a clean slate. You have to be able to handle those old apps as well as the new modern stuff.”

Ready said this is the place for partners embracing the edge, which he called the “hardware renaissance” of solution providers.

“Because customers need to deploy a local infrastructure, they need help doing that, and that’s why the IT channel was there in the first place?” He said ready. “I can sign up with an MSP or I can sign up for AWS myself, but either way, I get a similar experience. On the other hand, Amazon won’t help me stand up to my small network on the factory floor, but by God my local partner can.”

Genito Isabella, Vice President of System Integration at Cat-Tec, Inc. , a solutions provider in Ontario, Canada that has been a partner of Scale for two years, partners should take a closer look at the new Scale range.

“All fan heads like me, we are so used to seeing all these big boxes, so when they stand in front of the scale, and they see these three little boxes, they’re like, ‘There’s no way you can support the net,’” he said. “I was the same way. But when I look at the numbers in my postings…most of them are 35 percent used. I create more problems for them when I back up, and use more, than when they do their job.”