VMworld: Scale Computing Ships ‘JBOD Killer’ for SMBs

Scale Computing has taken its unified SAN/NAS storage cluster downstream with a new, entry-level storage cluster aimed at small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) in need of shared storage for virtualization deployments.

Referred to by the company as a JBOD killer for the SMB, the Scale Computing N05 Starter Cluster, announced today at the VMworld conference in San Francisco, is made up of three 500GB N05 storage nodes. A single N05 node retails for $2,500, while a minimum configuration of a Scale Starter Cluster includes 1.5TB of usable storage capacity at a price of $7,500 and includes the same software set as the company’s larger S-Series product line, according to Jeff Ready, CEO and founder of Scale Computing.

Scale’s N05 Starter Cluster was designed with the same Intelligent Clustered Storage (ICS) technology used in Scale’s standard and performance lines of storage nodes. With Scale’s N05 storage nodes, customers can purchase storage as needed, use SAN and NAS in the same cluster at the same time, and control storage through a web-based user interface.

The system automatically stripes and mirrors data across all nodes and processing, throughput and storage capacity scale simultaneously with each new node added to the cluster.

The cluster also includes file and block-level protocols – CIFS, NFS and iSCSI – which allows ICS to support unified SAN/NAS environments on each storage node.

Additionally, Scale added snapshots and asynchronous replication as included features late last year. Synchronous replication also is available.

Starting at the new entry point of 1.5TB, storage administrators can scale a cluster up to the multiple petabyte range by mixing and matching nodes with Scale Computing’s larger nodes.

“The N05 expands our ability to capture the first time SAN buyer as users are coming off of DAS and move to adopt server virtualization and a shared storage back end,” said Ready. “They can now get started in virtualization with a fairly minimal storage investment.”

Scale Computing is facing an uphill climb as it plans to take on Dell and others. Peter Fuller, Scale’s vice president of marketing and business development, believes the N05 will displace some of Dell’s EqualLogic PS market, as well as more inexpensive Promise and NexSan arrays that may cost less than the N05, but have less scalability and fewer features, he said.

“For $2,500 per node of enterprise-class, scale-out storage, companies will have to look twice before purchasing any JBOD solution. With the N05, JBOD for the SMB is dead,” said Fuller.

Scale Computing is currently demonstrating its ICS products at this week’s VMworld conference.

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Kevin Komiega
Kevin Komiega is an Enterprise Storage Forum contributor.

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