Intel has signalled the end-of-life for its low-cost NUC mini-server line of PCs, which means Scale Computing will have to find a replacement edge system hardware supplier. And it’s found one: Simply NUC.
NUC is Intel’s grandly named Next Unit of Compute, a small form-factor PC which has a 4-inch by 4-inch board inside with a CPU, 1 or 2 SODIMM memory slots, a 2-5-inch drive bay and various ports. OEM and system house customers had to populate the box with memory and a storage drive. It was launched in 2013 and the latest 13th generation features Core i3, i5, i7 and i9 processors.
Hyperconverged system supplier Scale Computing announced its NUC-based HE150 edge system at the end of 2019. That has become its current HE100 system. These provide edge sites lacking any sort of datacenter or track-level infrastructure to have connected hyperconverged systems for local computing and also data movements to and from a datacenter. Scale provides the ability to centrally manage hundreds, if not thousands of them as a fleet.
In May last year Scale announced it had signed a strategic memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Intel covering edge computing. The intent was to provide a fully integrated, simple to deploy and administer, edge computing platform for Intel Authorized Distributors, reseller partners, systems integrators, and end users based on NUC Enterprise Edge Compute (EEC) Edition hardware, built with Scale Computing. That was how close Intel and Scale had become.
Scale will now have to switch to another hardware supplier for this box. It said in a statement: “Scale Computing has an agreement in place with Simply NUC we are unveiling this week. Scale Computing Platform is now available from Simply NUC as a pre-integrated offering through their website. Simply NUC is confident that they will be able to continue to meet demand for small form factor (SFF) PCs by providing their own branded NUC clones, alternatives, and innovating future platforms.”
There are other options:
- Scale Computing qualified SimplyNUC Topaz, a version of the HE151
- The Lenovo M90Q is qualified and is available today
- Additional small form factor systems available from Lenovo, Dell, and SuperMicro which will be available soon.
Scale’s co-founder and CEO, Jeff Ready, told us: “These shifts in hardware (whether sudden like this, or over time as normally happens when server families change or are discontinued) is exactly one of the problems Scale fixes with software. With the NUC specifically, Intel made some of them, and Intel authorized manufacturers made some. Intel won’t make them now, but others will continue.”
“Beyond that though, one key benefit of Scale SC//Platform is that the hardware is abstracted away. So a customer can (and many do) have mixed hardware in their environments, and they don’t need to worry with it, as Scale handles all the management, updates, etc. of that disparate hardware base. So if a customer had Intel-made NUCs today, and maybe also hand SimplyNUC made NUCs in the same cluster, they could add more SimplyNUCs, or even other gear completely, like Lenovo Tiny, or similar devices from Dell, SuperMicro, etc.”
“Different CPU families, different server brands, different BIOS, different drive configurations, different generations – none of that matters to us. We pool it all together and manage it as one.”
Scale Computing will honor all hardware warranties, there are no changes resulting from this event.