Intel taps Scale Computing for low-power edge platform

NUC NUC. Who's there?

Intel Vision Scale Computing announced a strategic partnership with Intel on Monday to offer a fully integrated, low-power platform for deploying and managing applications at the edge.

Founded in 2007, Scale Computing offers a range of hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) products for datacenter, cloud, and edge environments. This includes its HC3 software platform, which provides a stripped down version of its HCI software stack for low-power edge appliances.

The company's latest partnership with Intel aims to address growing demand for ultra-low latency applications in retail, industrial, and IoT environments by enabling those workloads to run on validated hardware at the network edge.

"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," Scale's CEO Jeff Ready told The Register.

For example, in an industrial setting, these devices offer a cost-effective alternative to a large server equipment, but still have enough grunt to pre-process data so it does not have to be sent to the cloud for analysis.

And because these applications are being deployed in environments with limited resources, the company argues the compact, integrated form factor offered by Intel's Next Unit of Computing (NUC) platform is ideal.

"The Intel NUC platform, we have found to be very useful for these kinds of edge computing environments," Ready said.

While initially popularized for use in small form factor DIY PCs and thin clients, Intel's NUCs have evolved to include variants optimized for gaming, edge, and IoT applications. The platforms are typically built around laptop processors that require a miserly 15-28 Watts and have traditionally utilized SO-DIMM memory modules and SSDs.

Intel's NUC Enterprise Edge Compute (EEC), will use its latest generation NUC 11 Pro platform running on either its 11th-gen Core i5-1145G7 or Core i7-1185G7 processors. Both offer four physical cores and eight logical threads at frequencies up to 4.8GHz and can be paired with up to 64GB of DDR4 memory.

While Intel provides the computing muscle, Scale's HC3 software platform provides customers with centralized management and a software framework for deployment and management of edge applications at scale.

"In most of the edge environments, you're not necessarily talking about one location of X number of servers, you're talking about a smaller number of servers, but X number of locations – hundreds or thousands of locations," Ready explained. "Managing that kind of horizontal scale en masse has its own challenges."

The NUC EEC offering is slated for release later this year and will be resold by Intel authorized dealers. ®

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