Scale Computing just announced their new software upgrade to ICOS that brings server virtualization capabilities to their scale out storage. (yes, you read it right, it’ll be available to existing customers too).

HC3 is based off Scale Computing‘s ICOS operating environment, the storage part is still built on the HPC-hardened GPFS while the new server virtualization component is made on KVM, keeping Linux as their OS choice.

As you can already imagine, Scale Computing is a software play, the nodes are standard X86-64 systems that house four drives (SAS or SATA) a quad-core CPU and 32GB of RAM each. The current HC3 platform starts from the “small” cluster which is comprised of three storage/vm nodes (built on Scale’s HW platform) and is expandable up to eight nodes, the number of VM workloads recommended ranges from 15-30 of the small kit up to 60-100 of the top of the line.

The product itself is full-featured, and has a stunning HTML5 interface to manage everything including console access to the VM guests (Remote console in the browser from Mac OS X… hint hint VMware…) and there are a few partnership being made for backup automation at the hypervisor level but they haven’t been disclosed already, also, Replication is already built-in even though it’s still managed at the storage volume level and not per VM, but they assured it’s coming in a forthcoming release.

The idea itself isn’t brand new, other companies pioneered the scale-out virtualization+storage concept but none of them focused on the lower end of the market, where sometimes there is no IT personnel, where the only hypervisor used is a VMware Workstation installed on the “PC guy” laptop… you get the picture, Scale stuck with their market target improving on its robust storage product delivering a great solution for many small shops, and this, in my book, is laudable.

DISCLAIMER: Scale sponsored a Tech Field Day Roundtable at VMworld, and Gestalt IT used this money to pay for my flight and accommodation while VMware provided me a Blogger pass for the event. Both VMware and Scale Computing did not ask for, nor did they receive any consideration for this article.