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Data storage startup Scale Computing scored a major coup this week by landing Avnet as its first distributor in North America.

Scale Computing provides what it calls Intelligent Clustered Storage
(ICS) systems for midsize and small businesses. The product runs on
both IBM and Scale-branded commodity hardware and is designed to bring
enterprise-level storage solutions to smaller companies with an
affordable price tag.

Here’s the deal. Avnet Technology Group, the IT solutions arm of the
global distributor, entered into a relationship with Scale to deliver
its storage solution and fill a gap in the midmarket and SMB storage

According to Avnet vice president Mark Martin, its partnership with
Scale is the first of its kind for the distributor and is geared to
better serve the needs of the SMB storage market going forward. 
Prior to the relationship, Avnet’s portfolio lacked a SMB storage
solution. Thanks to Scale, Avnet anticipates its business in the SMB
storage space to grow significantly over the next year and is looking
to the bundled solution to be a significant producer over the next

“The midmarket customer is looking for what enterprise customers want
at a more consumable price point,” said Martin. “The solution brings
the features and functions of higher-end storage products to the SMB."

Needless to say, Scale Computing could not be happier to reach Avnet’s
800 IBM reseller partners. The company sells through the channel
exclusively and its product is barely a year old.

“Avnet’s reach is tremendous and it has a loyal base of resellers,”
said Peter Fuller, vice president of marketing for Scale Computing.
“They are also one of the lead IBM distribution partners and the top
one to deal with. Working with them has been great.”

It’s been a good year for Scale Computing. In June, the company closed
$5 million in a funding round led by Blue Chip Venture Company. Of that
$5 million, $2 million was secured through the State of Indiana’s 21st
Century Fund, a technology program designed to attract more high
technology companies to the state. The company was also named to Forbes
Magazine’s America’s Most Promising Companies List for 2009.

As other startups are struggling, Scale is in growth mode, and hiring
“smart,” according to its vice president of global sales, Alan Hans.
“We are looking for the right people in the right location with the
right skill sets.”

The joint Avnet and Scale solution is architected to store data
asymmetrically and aims to eliminate issues caused by single point of
failure monolithic storage systems. Scale differentiates itself by its
relatively low price point, starting at $18,300 dollars, and providing
customers with the option to expand storage capacity in increments of
one-, two- and four-terabyte nodes.