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HE500 series appliances create perfect infrastructure for Remote / Edge Computing: 5 Reasons Why

Scale Computing just launched a new HE500 series of appliances. A couple weeks ago I blogged about how these appliances have lowered the cost of entry into hyperconverged infrastructure and why they are currently unique in the infrastructure market. Now I am here to tell you more about why these appliances are perfect for remote sites and edge computing.

 1 - Easy to deploy

With edge computing, the infrastructure need is outside of the primary data center. It is remote sites that have little or no IT staff. That means for infrastructure deployments, one or more IT pros need to be sent onsite to perform the deployment. Traditional types of infrastructure can take days or even weeks to fully deploy. If you only have a handful of sites, this can be annoying but with dozens or hundreds of sites, this becomes a massive undertaking.

HE500 series appliances, like or HC1000 and HC5000 series appliances, can be deployed very quickly usually within a few hours for new users and for seasoned HC3 professionals, in under an hour. That is the deployment time not for just a single appliance, but for a cluster of appliances, racked, cabled, configured, and running VMs. This quick deployment significantly decreases deployment time and deployment costs, making the most efficient use of your IT resources as they roll out the necessary infrastructure to your sites.

2 - Easy to manage

Once deployed, remote sites need ongoing management and maintenance from the IT team. Often times, managing multiple sites requires additional management tools that increase the cost of the solution. This can be compounded by multiple vendor components installed at each location requiring multiple management tools to be used. When this is multiplied by dozens or hundreds of sites, it becomes very burdensome.

The HE500 series of appliances radically simplify management. For example, one of the reasons that the appliances are so easy to deploy is that they automatically configure all of the storage in a cluster for immediate use. All features (of which none was scaled back to create this smaller, more affordable appliance series) can be managed remotely, including performing software and firmware updates without downtime on a cluster. Multi-cluster monitoring features and alerts make it easy to quickly check the status of all sites and respond as needed with remote management.

3- Incredible uptime

I already mentioned that there can be no downtime when doing software and firmware updates on a cluster with these appliances (the same for all our appliances series) but that only scratches the surface for maintaining uptime. HC3 clusters are well known for easily tolerating hard drive failures (anyone can, right?) but also SSD failures (without taking down the whole node), and tolerating entire node failures if they occur. But what makes HC3 really special, and true too of these new appliances, is our machine intelligent automation that enables self-healing to mitigate failure and prevent downtime.

HC3 automated state machines constantly check the state of the hardware and software infrastructure to detect not just failure conditions but conditions that may eventually lead to failure. The state machines also have the ability to respond to these conditions with corrective actions to self-heal the system or mitigate the failure and allow the system to continue running until an IT pro can take further corrective action. For a remote site, this type of automation is critical to reducing the cost of rapid IT response (or as we sometimes like to call it, “sending a guy in a truck”). Even if the issue cannot fully be resolved remotely, the system tolerance allows a more reasonable and less costly next day response. When you have dozens or hundreds of sites, reducing travel to those sites greatly reduces costs.

4 - Easily scalable

In a small infrastructure deployment like edge computing, you might not necessarily think about scalability as a primary need, but maybe it should be. You want a small, inexpensive infrastructure at these remote sites, yes. You may also not have any plans to scale out, true. But in the case of HC3, including the new HE500 series of appliances, the flexibility of scaling out offers more benefits than just expanding capacity.

First, lets ignore that with the importance of data gathering IoT technologies impacting the way we do business your plans may change year to year on what new types of applications and data you may need to process on your edge infrastructure. Okay, without growth in mind, you will still need to refresh that infrastructure eventually, maybe within 3-5 years. HC3 architecture lets you add newer appliances to your cluster when you need to and then retire out older appliances when they reach end of life. This “scale out”, even without growth, allows you to update infrastructure without downtime when needed. Across dozens of hundreds of sites, this significantly reduces potential downtime and deployment time for refresh.

5 - Low Cost

Last time I talked about how a cluster of three nodes, even all-flash, starts as low as $16,500 USD. This is fantastically economical when you consider all of the high availability, self-healing, automation, and ease-of-use delivered to each site at this cost. Once you take into account the total cost of ownership that is made low by the easy deployment and management alone, the economics are hard to ignore.  

If you are still not convinced by the upfront price tag, consider just these two calculations on deployment and management costs for systems that may be slightly less easy to deploy and manage:

  • An extra 4 hours of deployment time per site x 240 sites is an extra 6 months added to deployment
  • An extra 10 minutes of management time per site x 240 sites adds up to a 40 hour work week

The numbers add up quickly multiplied across sites. Simplicity equals savings when it comes to IT management costs and that is what HC3 does best.

Summary

If you have a keen eye for all things HC3, you’ll have noticed that we diverged from our series branding for the HC1000 and HC5000 series with the H”E”500 series. The E is for edge computing so none of this is by accident. The HE500 series is designed to deliver the simplicity of HC3 to remote, edge computing sites where the benefits can be realized to the highest degree. This HE500 series is only the most recent step in our efforts to make infrastructure simpler and better for organizations of all sizes. Check out the HE500 series configuration options here.