Scale: Data Storage in a Box!

This may be a bit of a geeky, techy, post but I just had to share it with you. One of the objectives of Martech Zone is providing folks with information on technology as well as marketing – so you’ll see some cool posts on technology in the mix from time to time.

If this post begins to read like Klingon, just pass it on to your CIO. I’m sure he will be impressed!

This afternoon I had the pleasure of attending a seminar with Scale Computing, hosted by Doug Theis and Lifeline Data Centers. I wanted to learn more about Scale Computing after I had read the news last year that they received $2 million from the 21st Century Fund.

There was some grumbling in the industry when Scale did win… since so many great startups have been turned down and some real stinkers have made it through the 21 fund gauntlet. Scale wasn’t even technically in Indiana… they are relocating here. That is good news – and no doubt Scale will benefit from the low taxes, solid tech sector and affordable wages here in Indiana.

That said, it’s an incredibly fascinating product that Scale has produced. 20 years ago, I administered an OS2 network with redundant servers and RAID disk arrays. To ensure the system was always up, it was a daily regiment of checking and rotating drives, rebuilding drives, and having ‘hot standby’ equipment at the ready. It was a nightmare – and was full of single points of failure that were always the issue.

Intelligent Clustered Storage (ICS) by Scale Computing is pretty sexy.

As Bryan Avdyli of Scale said, “Storage hasn’t been ‘sexy’ for a long time!”. Scale Computing had developed hardware that replaces several components in the average data center. Typically today, managed clustering uses controller nodes with active clustering. This introduces a single point of failure and does not allow for true scalable performance or universal access. After a decade, most configurations still use a master slave relationship and are proprietary. This has driven up the price of managed storage… and the average company that needs it cannot afford a great storage solution.


Scale took a very complex IBM technology and shrunk it down into a single unit. Scale is an intelligent clustering solution where each node is accessible, and each acts as a single unit. If one node or drive fails, the initiator is automatically directed to another node. Scalability is simple and nearly limitless. Low cost storage solution that can be SAN/NAS, snapshot, thin provisioning, etc. Replication is built in! The system can scale to 2,200TB (and beyond) and can be implemented for local or remote data storage. iSCSI & VMWare iSCSI Multipathing is also built in with support for iSCSI, CIFS, and NFS protocols.

In English, this means that your company can purchase a 3TB solution for under $12k and basically plug it in. Your current services can be kept running and data migrated – even while expanding your capacity, cutting administrative time by 75%. As you expand the system you also don’t need to add additional licenses.

Pretty awesome technology that can definitely change the cost and scalability of the data storage industry. I’m going to have to admit that a $2 million grant from the 21 fund was probably a great decision for this company. My only concern is how soon they’ll get bought up by a larger company… hopefully after they relocate here and make an economic impact!

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