Appropriately dubbed the Scale Computing HC3 Edge Platform on Lenovo Servers, the solution basically combines Lenovo server hardware with Scale's HC3 platform, which brings together storage, servers, and virtualization into a comprehensive system with automated management.
Hardware maker Lenovo has partnered with Indianapolis-based hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) platform developer Scale Computing to offer a new out-of-the-box HCI solution for the edge it says is perfect for retailers with multiple store locations and minimal on-site IT support.
This is a different kind of edge computing from the kind of computing infrastructure that's now starting to be built at cell towers. While the point is still to put compute and storage further out on a company's network, it's meant to improve performance for a single user's private corporate network, not performance for many customers of a service provider.
The Lenovo and Scale solution provides "edge infrastructure that has the capacity to run various IT and OT workloads, is space-conscious, and can be managed at each individual location by generalists," Wilfredo Sotolongo, VP and general manager of IoT for Lenovo's data center group, said in a statement.
According to Scale, no training is necessary to manage an HC3 system, which makes it perfect for branch locations where IT staff might not be readily available. To illustrate the system's efficacy, Lenovo points to a deployment by Netherlands-based supermarket and e-commerce retailer Ahold Delhaize, which has over 6,600 stores in 11 countries.
In a statement, Rolf Vanden Eynde, the retailer's head of infrastructure innovation, said, "the solution outclassed competition on total cost of ownership and simplicity."
If this sounds like it would meet your needs but you'd rather use hardware from someone other than Lenovo, not to worry. In a chat discussion on Scale's website, a customer service rep told us that HC3 has been available and fully supported on Dell hardware since 2012, and on equipment from Super Micro for about three years.
Unfortunately, for those who would like to install Scale's software on existing equipment, that's not doable yet in much of the world, including in the US, where HC3 isn't available as stand-alone software. However, Scale says the software is now available in Canada and EMEA through its Lenovo partnership.
The software might be more universally available in the future. In our online chat with Scale we were told they've been talking internally about making the software available globally but don't yet have a timeline.