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Scale Computing Scales Up With Linux KVM Servers

By Sean Michael Kerner (Send Email)
Posted May 16, 2013


Scale Computing is scaling up its server business with a new HC3x server.

The Indiana-based startup recently raised $12 Million in funding to support its converged systems approach. The company's initial HC3 system combined compute, virtualization and storage components.

The new HC3x expands on the initial HC3 servers with increased scale and performance. The HC3x starts off with a 3-node system with each node powered by a 6-core Intel Xeon E5 2400 and packed with 64 GB of memory.

Vanessa Alvarez, Head of Marketing at Scale Computing, explained to ServerWatch that at the heart of the HC3 systems portfolio is the ICOS (Intelligent Clustered Operating System) 4.2 that is shipped on the box.

SCALE Computing "ICOS is a custom Linux distribution originally based on CentOS and therefore neither we nor our customers receive any commercial support or consulting services from Red Hat," Alvarez said.

"We believe this is the value add that we provide for our customers," Alvarez continued. "They don't have to have separate licensing, separate hardware costs, separate support for each of these vendor hardware components, etc."

The HC3x converged system leverages the KVM hypervisor as its core virtualization technology. The KVM bits are included as part of ICOS and benefit from KVM's direct integration in the CentOS/RedHat upstream Linux distribution.

Alvarez noted that Scale has also done a great deal of work picking specific upstream commits for added functionality and bug fixes, based on customers' requests. She added that the core virtualization components include the Linux standard: qemu, libvirt and virtlockd programs.

"We have developed our own user interface and simplified it so there is no learning curve involved for a general IT person in a small company," Craig M. Theriac, Director of Product Management at Scale Computing, explained.

With the HC3x, Scale Computing is taking at aim at VMware as well as big IT vendors like Cisco, IBM and HP that have recently also jumped into the converged server space with new platforms.

Both IBM and HP in particular have built out converged systems for specific workload enablement. IBM calls its offering PureSystems, while HP calls its platform the AppSystem.

Scale Computing does not yet have systems tailored for specific workloads and instead is currently focused on enabling general purpose workloads. That said, Theriac hinted that the future Scale Computing roadmap could include workload specific systems.


Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at ServerWatch and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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