Scale Computing is a leader in edge computing, virtualization, and hyperconverged solutions for customers around the globe. Scale Computing HC3® software eliminates the need for traditional virtualization software, disaster recovery software, servers, and shared storage, replacing these with a fully integrated, highly available system for running applications. Using patented HyperCore™ technology, the HC3 self-healing platform automatically identifies, mitigates, and corrects problems in the infrastructure in real-time, enabling applications to achieve maximum uptime even when local IT resources and staff are scarce. This innovation makes HC3 simple for IT to manage and administer. When ease-of-use, high availability, and TCO matter, Scale Computing HC3 is the ideal infrastructure platform for distributed enterprises, global retailers, and SMBs alike.
What is Hyperconvergence?
Hyperconvergence or Hyperconverged Infrastructure: Noun – The integration of the storage, compute, and virtualization layers of infrastructure into a single solution architecture.
The idea behind hyperconvergence is to eliminate complexity from the modern datacenter. Virtualization has already brought IT a long way in consolidation and management of server workloads, but the underlying infrastructure is still built on traditional hardware component architecture. Let’s set the stage by describing the state of traditional infrastructure design.
Build Your Own / DIY
The tried and true IT infrastructure design is a combination of technologies that pre-date server virtualization with a virtualization hypervisor layered on top. The process involves installing hypervisors on several brand name servers acting as hosts and adding a SAN or NAS to create a cluster. While this architecture offers a great deal of flexibility in choosing hardware and combining multiple vendor solutions, it comes with the complexity of maintaining and supporting these disparate solutions within the architecture.
Monolithic Storage Single Point of Failure
The DIY architecture relies on multiple servers and hypervisors having the ability to share a common storage system, which makes the storage a critical single point of failure for the entire infrastructure. This is commonly referred to in the industry as 3-2-1 architecture with 1 representing the single shared storage system that all servers and VM’s depend on (also called the inverted pyramid of doom). “Scale-out” storage systems have become available to distribute storage processing and redundancy across multiple independent “nodes”, but this technology only adds additional cost and complexity to the solution.
The market reacted to the complexity of the DIY approach by creating a reference architecture – a set of “pre-certified” components to run as a proven architecture. This approach gives the IT generalist the ability to quickly implement a known solution based on well documented use cases, but it still relies on the complexity of each layer being managed independently. It is a step toward convergence, but falls short when it comes to reducing the complexity of implementation and ongoing maintenance and support.
Converged solutions combine usually just two of the “pre-certified” hardware components into a single system to be easily consumable by the midmarket IT admin. These solutions generally use software defined architecture to eliminate some of the complexity in melding hardware components from different vendors. These solutions are just part of a larger solution that includes other components that were not converged, like the virtualization hypervisor. Many of these solutions call themselves “hyperconverged” even though they use a third party hypervisor. Don’t be fooled. Because of their limited scope, converged solutions have only solved part of the complexity problem.
The Turning Point
The turning point for infrastructure architecture was the ability to combine all of the components needed to simply plug in and turn on the infrastructure and start creating virtual machines. The key missing component in convergence, the hypervisor, is the “hyper” in hyperconvergence. This model effectively converges the hypervisor, storage, and compute in a single solution stack to provide a highly available infrastructure without the complexity associated with traditional multi-vendor architectures. Delivered as a cluster of three or more appliance nodes, hyperconvergence connects with your network as a full infrastructure solution.
What is Edge Computing?
Edge computing describes a physical computing infrastructure, intentionally located outside the four walls of the datacenter, so storage compute resources can be placed where they are needed. Run on a small or tiny hardware footprint, infrastructure at the edge collects, processes and reduces vast quantities of data and can be further uploaded to either a centralized datacenter or the cloud. Edge computing acts as a high performance bridge from local compute to both private and public clouds.
The modern distributed enterprise often consists of a central office where IT staff and operations are local and a number of remote edge sites with minimal or no IT staff. It is common for edge sites to be not just remote but quite far away making travel a complicated issue for internal support staff stationed at a primary site to service. Remote edge sites have computing needs, but often on a smaller scale than a primary site, not justifying the cost of similar infrastructure or any onsite staff.
A typical approach to dealing with edge infrastructure needs is to replicate the primary site’s traditional, complex platform stack on a smaller scale. This approach often involves costly and unnecessary software licensing and hardware that makes little or no sense for the needs of the edge site. A SAN, for example, that might make sense for large scale storage consolidation at the primary site might offer no benefits but many caveats for the edge site. A complex system design means more cost to purchase, more cost to support, and ultimately a lot more risk to the business.
HC3 hyperconverged infrastructure is ideal for both the primary site and remote edge sites because it encapsulates the simplicity, scalability, and availability that reduce infrastructure management footprint. HC3 systems can be remotely managed through a single web interface that allows an administrator visibility into hardware and software components including hypervisor and individual VM consoles. HC3 scales from very small to enterprise infrastructure making it the right fit for any site.
HC3 can be racked, cabled, powered on, configured in a matter of minutes, and VMs can be deployed and running in under an hour.
HC3 appliances have multiple redundancies for power, networking, and storage to continue operating if components fail. For example, the block access, direct attached storage system in HC3 can automatically recover from drive failure or failure of an entire node to keep VMs running while the failed component is replaced.
Administrators can quickly connect their web browsers to remote HC3 systems and manage storage and virtual machines from a single management interface.
VMs can be replicated between two HC3 systems with native, built-in replication. Replication can be local or remote across any distance and can be configured to replicate changes as often as every 5 minutes.
Remote Support Access
HC3 offers a remote access point exclusive to ScaleCare support to help diagnose support issues and take corrective actions if necessary.
When it comes to edge computing, HC3 shines because it was designed starting with the needs of the individual administrator in mind. Designed for minimal management of the infrastructure, HC3 allows one administrator to easily manage infrastructure remotely across multiple sites. The built in replication helps protect those remote sites without the need for an additional DR solution. HC3 and edge computing are a perfect match.