All posts by Scale Computing

HC3 Customer Testimonial – TESC Contracting Company Ltd.

We love hearing from customers, so we were thrilled to sit down with Chris Angell, Group IT Manager of TESC Contracting Company Ltd. to learn why he chose HC3! TESC is a large construction company specializing in industrial construction and mineral processing. Downtime in their environment meant downtime to remote construction crews. Any delay in the construction schedule could bring substantial financial penalties from the TESC clients. In this 3 minute video, you’ll hear Chris discuss how HC3 was able to solve their high availability requirements and how TESC was able to invest in a new ERP system with the savings seen from choosing HC3 over the other alternatives in consideration.


Who is Scale Computing? Storage Field Day 5 – SFD5

A couple of weeks ago Scale Computing was honored to take part in Storage Field Day 5, hosting 12 delegates at our offices in San Mateo for a 2 hour session covering both our company and our HC3 product. We always enjoy hearing the opinion of passionate technologists and this event exceeded our expectations for engagement both in the room and online.

In the video below, our very own Jason Collier (Twitter: @bocanuts) walked through a brief overview of who we are as a company and why we focus on the SMB market with our HC3 product. If you have questions that weren’t covered in the video, feel free to reach out to us.

Follow up blog from Justin Warren: Scale Computing in the Goldilocks Zone


The Current Virtualization Channel: Breaking Bad or The Sopranos?

I know, it seems like I’m shamelessly pandering to the demise of one of the great shows on TV in any era, the recently completed Breaking Bad on AMC.  I don’t know why I come to these things late, but I do, and then I catch up like a maniac and watch them 3 or 4 a night to get up to date.  I’m currently doing the same now with Breaking Bad and I’m hooked.

OK so which one is more like the current virtualization channel – the Jersey mafia guys or the crystal meth cookers and distributors.  Does VMware have its customers hooked on their vTax or are they more like the mob loan sharks coming back for their interest payments, or “vig”, and keeping their “customers” forever in their debt until they have to turn their businesses over?   Continue reading

Five Business Reasons Why Developers and Software Ecosystems Benefit from KVM

By: Peter Fuller, Vice President of Business Development and Alliances, Scale Computing

As the VP of Business Development and Alliances for Open Virtual Alliance Member Scale Computing, I work with a diverse group of top players in the software ecosystem. While many have KVM compatible products as full virtual appliances, others are building business cases to justify the minor engineering expense required to develop KVM-compatible versions of their VMware, Citrix or Hyper-V solutions.

This KVM question has isochronously emerged as a discussion point with my business development peers this year. It is not a hard apologetic to form since KVM support is: 1) adopted, 2) supported and crowd sourced, 3) independent, 4) a quickly profitable engineering exercise and 5) freely available.

Let’s take a quick look at the benefits:

(1) KVM is Adopted & Mature

KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) works in the Linux kernel as an open source, free component for Linux on x86 hardware that contains Intel VT or AMD-V extensions. With KVM, multiple unmodified Linux or Windows images can run as virtual machines on a single processor.

KVM is growing at 60% year over year in terms of new server shipments virtualized, with over 100,000 shipments and nonpaid deployments worldwide over the past 12 quarters.1 The worldwide virtual-machine software market was on track to grow to over $3.6 billion in 2012, up from $3.0 billion the year before, a 19.3% year-over-year growth.2

KVM is also the standard for OpenStack. In fact, 71% of OpenStack deployments use KVM.

The technology is also very mature. According to CloudPro, KVM held the top 7 SPECVirt benchmarks, outperforming VMware across 2, 4 and 8 socket servers. As CloudPro mentions, it is very rare that an open source solutions meets so many commercial specifications.3

(2) KVM is Supported & Crowd Sourced

Both IBM and Red Hat announced significant investments in KVM. Unlike VMware, the many results of those investments won’t be locked behind intellectual property laws. The companies are contributing much of its KVM development to the open source community.

This investment was important for Scale, not because we use Red Hat branches of KVM, but because it will undoubtedly attract publishers into the technology and legitimized it as an enterprise-class hypervisor.

The growing ecosystem of KVM supporters is proof. The OVA has over 300 members of software ad hardware vendors, and continues to add to its ranks daily. This collective pool of companies contributes code back to the community, allowing each company indirect access to each other’s open development initiatives. Hundreds of thousands of non-member Linux developers also add to the crowd-sourced technologies that companies like Scale can use. Additionally, the Linux Foundation recently announced that the OVA would become an official collaborative project.

Ecosystem developers benefit from this crowd-sourced adoption of KVM in ways they can’t leverage with commercial solutions like VMware. For starters, commercial virtualization solutions are

(3) KVM is Independent & Adaptive

The independence of KVM contributes to fecundity of its code. Hundreds of thousands of Linux developers around the world develop technologies for Linux and KVM—without restrictions associated with corporate IP protection.

While the permanency of any company is in continual state of ambiguity, corporations are far more labile than un-owned open source code. KVM will be around forever; there’s little risk supporting it.

The biggest challenges to the viability of some hypervisor providers are the open source headwinds wreaking havoc on their financial models. Specialized vendors like VMware don’t have the product diversity outside of their hypervisor that cushion companies like Microsoft and Citrix. As the hypervisor becomes a commodity, revenues are made on the management tools and licensed annually. This stress already pushed VMware to compete with its partners. Just this year, the company released a V-SAN product in direct completion to Nutanix and Simplivity.

(4) KVM is Easily Convertible & Supporting it is Profitable

I like to use a basic supply and demand argument support KVM development: while there’s an infinite supply of a vendor’s code, there will always be a finite supply of a customer’s cash.

To save that finite cash pool, roughly 70 percent of corporations use KVM as a secondary hypervisor to avoid licensing costs for non-production virtual machines. This install base represents a huge market that is quickly migrating KVM to the primary position in order to reduce recurring licensing costs.

Converting is Easy

In most cases, converting from a mainstream hypervisor to KVM is relatively simple. In fact, one of our alliance partners added KVM support to its robust backup software in just a week. The conversion from VMDK to QCOW2 (KVM) is fairly straightforward.

(5) The Hypervisor is a Commodity, Why Pay for It?

Hypervisors are a commodity. With Intel’s VT and AMD’s V chipset, KVM calls directly into the virtualization stack provided by those manufacturers at the chip level. There’s no need to pay license charges for solutions that use software to perform the virtualization tasks Intel and AMD provide in the hardware. A light kernel-based piece of code calling directly into the processor greatly increases the speed and efficiency of the virtualization experience. Additionally, since both Intel and AMD are committed to open technologies and the leverage publishers will get from these two companies is significant.


For ecosystem developers, the value extracted from the community translates into engineering efficiencies, faster feature development and flexibility, potentially millions of dollars in savings on engineering costs, and the ability to maintain price elasticity in a highly competitive ecosystem.

KVM has a large install base, major investors, commercial momentum and crowd-sourced development momentum. Spending a few weeks to add KVM support to existing applications will open new markets for developers while opening the door to new found capital efficiencies and faster development times.


1IDC Worldwide Quarterly Server Virtualization Tracker, March 2013

2Worldwide Virtual Machine Software 2012-2016 Forecast, IDC #235379, June 2012


What Da Ali G Show Can Teach Us About How We Can Work With Our Global Customers

Every time I go to the UK, I watch an episode of the old Da Ali G Show on my laptop.  Sacha Baron Cohen (AKA Borat) is one of my favorite British comedians, and I usually laugh out loud on the airplane with my Scale Computing HC3 Beats by Dre headphones on.  More on what we can learn from this later.

I was recently in London on business, and over the course of the week we met with a number of Scale Computing’s EMEA customers, current and new resellers, and UK based press.  It was a fantastic week in which we celebrated the first “birthday” of our groundbreaking and industry-leading platform HC3.  We celebrated going from a standing start to over 700(!) HC3 customer implementations in the year since HC3’s release.  In addition, we had 50% gains in implemented appliance nodes and new customers in our EMEA market.  Clearly HC3 and hyperconvergence are quickly gaining momentum in EMEA.

We had customers and partners from UK, France and South Africa and guests from Poland and even Lithuania come join us in celebrating the success of HC3.  At our Birthday Celebration we had two UK customers testify as to how Scale and HC3 had changed their way of doing things.  Leonard Powers (watch the video!) from Safran Power UK, a major manufacturer of aircraft electrical generation systems, spoke of how he needed virtualization to help Safran simplify their IT infrastructure and applications.  Leonard spoke of how he evaluated HP and Dell solutions, along with VMware, and instead chose Scale over all those major vendors.  He also spoke of how the French parent company’s IT staff were amazed at how easy it was to create VM’s, move and manage them from the single pane-of-glass console of HC3, and how no special training was needed.  Everyone at Safran was pleasantly surprised when they realized there are NO LICENSE FEES to pay to Scale, ever.  Leonard told his colleagues we weren’t VMware, we are BETTER. Continue reading

Midmarket Enterprise Summit: Hyperconvergence Takes Main Stage

Coming off of a whirlwind quarter, I wanted to share some great insights that I gathered at Midsize Enterprise Summit (MES). This event is designed to bring IT executives together who are interested in virtualization and new technologies to help them run a better infrastructure environment.  It was great to get a sense for where our customers are thinking of going.  SMB, mid market, enterprise, all have challenges in optimizing their infrastructure, but mid market in particular, have specific challenges around needing scalability because they have a growing business, but also efficiency because they have a growing business but don’t have the resources and budget to do that.  There’s also so much unpredictability in the growth of the data, the need for new applications, and forecasting for capacity is just not feasible.

Continue reading

Nirvanix abruptly shuts down: The curse of public cloud

Yesterday, Nirvanix announced it was shutting down.  No explanation. No transition path for customers.  Oh and by the way, they have two weeks to figure out what to do with their data.   Two weeks in which some customers have to move a petabyte worth of data to…somewhere else.

This curse, of course, is not the first time we’ve seen this happen.  With these incident, and the numerous outages that have occurred in just this year, you have to wonder, is public cloud storage all it’s cracked up to be?  What happens when all of your data is sitting in the cloud, and all of a sudden, it’s gone? Or your service provider can’t deliver anymore? Continue reading

Good News for SMBs: IBM Tosses $1 Billion into Linux

In what could be one of the greatest trade show giveaways in history, IBM is expected to announce this week a $1 billion Linux investment at LinuxCon in New Orleans.

Big blue, one of Scale’s strategic partners, has had a rough go of the server market lately, but that’s nothing money and good strategy can’t cure. The company will be pushing its PowerLinux line of servers and hoping to give Linux developers a serious alternative to the x86 platform (namely Intel). Its Linux investment flows into KVM, where they hope to start taking a bite out of VMware’s hide. The vast majority of OpenStack deployments–71 percent–use KVM as the hypervisor.

In other words, the company is quietly gunning for VMware and Intel (while also being a partner to both companies).

This push for open source alternatives by the industry’s only centenarian tech giant is good news for the SMB.

Linux and KVM provide a wide range of development and product possibilities that proprietary systems like VMware work very hard to limit. More financing by industry luminaries like IBM will translate into greater technological development that, in turn, creates reduced cost structures for the SMB.

Already, VMware’s licensing costs look like a business model from the dark ages. Because Scale uses KVM, it is able to eliminate entirely license costs imposed by VMware, which helps reduce virtualization TCO by nearly 67%.

Feel free to read more about IBM’s early holiday gift to the Linux World:


Scale Computing and DoubleTake

Today we’re announcing that we’ve entered into a partnership with Vision Solutions DoubleTake. This has got me excited for several different reasons. In meeting with our customers, it becomes more evident that there is still a great deal of physical environments that need to be virtualized. Despite recent data, there are still a large number of organizations that are running on physical servers. The complexity around moving from physical to virtual (P2V) is still a reality, and some businesses can’t afford the downtime or risks around moving, or simply don’t have the skills or resources. Continue reading

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