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Scale Computing and Intel are collaborating on a NUC for deploying and managing edge applications.

Scale Computing develops hyperconverged infrastructure solutions for edge environments. Scale Computing’s offering is built around its HC3 software, an HCI platform for edge devices.

Intel and Scale Computing will use HC3 as the basis for a new solution, the Intel NUC Enterprise Edge Compute (EEC) Edition. The partners want to provide infrastructure for low latency workloads in edge environments. “When you get out there into the far reaches of the edge, things that don’t matter in the datacenter can matter a lot: physical size, noise, power consumption”, said Jeff Ready, CEO of Scale Computing.

Next Unit of Computing

Edge devices often have size restrictions. Some locations simply can’t afford space for large servers. For example, department stores in cities, where every square centimetre counts. To meet demand, edge devices come in all shapes and sizes. That’s why Intel’s NUC (Next Unit of Computing) was chosen.

NUCs can be held in one hand and deliver a surprising amount of power. Modern versions have one or two M.2 slots, a 2.5 inch SATA input and support for DDR4. Initially marketed as barebone PCs, the models are now used for a range of applications, including IoT.

The Intel NUC ECC Edition from Intel and Scale Computing uses the NUC 11 Pro as its base. This is the most recent version of the platform. NUC 11 Pro supports 11th-gen i5 and i7 processors. Both processors contain four cores and support up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM. Scale Computing’s HC3 software provides a management dashboard and framework for deploying and managing edge applications.

NUC Enterprise Edge Compute

“When we talk about edge environments, we’re not talking about a few locations and dozens of servers, but hundreds of thousands of locations and a few servers”, adds Ready. “Managing that kind of horizontal scale en masse has its own challenges.”

Since its inception, Scale Computing has focused on developing a platform that is as easy to manage as it is to operate. As such, with the combination of Intel and Scale Computing, we theoretically have the best of both worlds. The relative power of Intel’s NUC, coupled with the ease of use of Scale Computing’s HC3 software. During a session we attended at Intel Vision 2022, we got to see an enclosure with three of these Intel NUCs inside. By grouping NUCs, customers can cover redundancy and failover.

The exact release date is unknown. Intel and Scale Computing are aiming for a launch before the end of this year. The solution will be available at Intel resellers.

Sachin Katti, CTO of the Network and Edge Group (NEX) at Intel, holds up the Intel NUC EEC. Behind him, you can see the housing with the three NUCs.