Scale Computing has introduced a zero (technical) touch provisioning (ZTP) feature that it says means edge computing sites need a body to unbox the kit, hook it up to power and the Internet and then installation is automatic with no need for any technical bods on site.
When powered up, the hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) Scale kit automatically connects to Scale’s SC//Fleet Manager internet site. It then downloads, installs and executes a pre-written set of configuration instructions to set the bare metal up into a fully-functioning system with all hardware resources configured and system and application software installed and operational.
When an organization has hundreds or thousands of edge sites to deploy or update this solution from Scale could mean the dependency on having technical staff physically present is removed, saving hundreds of person hours of time and cost.
Scott Loughmiller, chief product officer and co-founder of Scale Computing, said: “Edge infrastructure shouldn’t require hands-on initialization,” and the new SC//Fleet Manager does away with that need.
He said: “Our new SC//Fleet Manager gives users the ability to see and manage their entire fleet from an intuitive cloud-based console at fleet.scalecomputing.com.”
Scale has also integrated its edge OS, SC//HyperCore, with the Red Hat Ansible Automation platform. Ansible is an open-source, command line automation software suite, infrastructure as code, that can configure systems, deploy software, set up cloud usage and orchestrate workflows – pretty much what SC//Fleet Manager does.
We think that Scale’s SC//Fleet Manager remote deployment functionality overlaps with Nebulon’s server card-based cloud management of servers.
Scale’s David Demlow, VP of product strategy, disagreed: “There are actually very few similarities in that Nebulon is focused on the management of physical server fleets and deploying 3rd party OS and software stacks (like VMware, etc) if customers want to ‘roll their own’ software stack.”
Well, colour me difficult but there doesn’t seem a lot of difference between fleets of clustered HCI server kit and fleets of servers. Its all about remote management of servers at the end of the day.
Demlow expanded futher: “Scale Computing provides a complete turnkey application solution that combines hardware management with our pre-integrated and managed HyperCore operating system making the entire solution ready to deploy, run and manage applications out of the box … just bring your workloads.”
Nebulon, with its SmartEdge product, uses similar turnkey language, as in a podcast entitled “A turnkey edge data center when and where you need it.“ Think of ZTP as overlapping Nebulon’s capability but minus Nebulon’s add-in card and therefore less costly.
ZTP comes in two versions: one managed from SC//Fleet Manager, and the other a centralized pre-configuration facility for air-gapped edge sites, meaning no Internet connection. This latter version is for highly secured sites for customers unable to work with cloud-based Fleet Manager. This is called a “One-Touch Provisioning (OTP)” option. OTP is available via USB.
SC//Fleet Manager, now including ZTP, is priced based on the number of clusters under management.