超融合基礎架構 (HCI) 領導品牌
超融合基礎架構 (HCI) 領導品牌
我們將伺服器、儲存和虛擬化整合到一個解決方案之中，從而使各種規模的企業都可以更輕鬆地使用 I.T. 基礎架構。無論您只有一名，還是數百名的 I.T. 管理員，我們的 HC3 超融合基礎架構都可以使事情徹底簡化、降低成本並節省管理時間。
通過使用基於設備的虛擬化方法，我們的 HC3 基礎架構解決方案可以更快地部署和易於管理，並允許您隨著企業的發展無縫擴展。即使在硬件組件或整個設備出現故障的緊急情況下，HC3 基礎架構也可以保持關鍵應用程式和整個企業正常運行。
– 幾分鐘內創建新的 VM
– 基於 Web 的單一管理平台
在當今的 24/7/365 世界中，I.T. 系統無法承受停機時間。即使硬件組件或整個 HC3 設備出現故障，HC3 集群也可以使系統運行時幾乎沒有停機時間。
– 自動化 VM 故障轉移
傳統上，基礎架構的橫向擴展一直具有挑戰性，導致企業往往需要預早計劃和購買五年後的基礎架構，以適應企的成長。使用 HC3 基礎架構，您只需購買所需的東西，然後在需要時無縫擴展即可。
– 橫向擴展可提高 VM 性能
- Its existing VMware based solution had reached the end of its lifespan
- The company wanted to improve IT simplicity reducing management time and costs
- As a printing company the organisation required high availability in order to meet customer needs
Scale Computing Solution
V-TAB deployed Scale Computing’s HC3 solution across two production sites in Sweden for data mirroring and business continuity.
- High availability and redundancy
- Simple and easy management
- Reduced administration costs
- Quick deployment
- One point of contact
- No additional licencing fees or certification required
V-TAB – delivering quality production and printing services to the Nordic market
V-TAB is one of the largest printing companies in the Nordic region with six production sites across the south and middle regions of Sweden. The organisations’ core business comes from national newspapers, however its customers also include well-known magazines and business chains. The company is able to handle large capacity printing materials, but still endeavours to act as a creative partner to all of its clients, providing them with a bespoke and personalised service.
As a comprehensive printing supplier, the company has well-established procedures for logistics, distribution and other postal services, as well as a complete photo studio that is open for client use.
It is critical to the company’s success that its operations are supported by a robust IT environment that can meet high capacity orders, offer complete business continuity and high availability. The company was operating on a mixture of virtualised and non-virtualised environments from VMware and Dell EquaLogic, which had reached the end of its lifespan. The existing environment was six years old, and V-TAB saw this as an opportunity to upgrade. Built on a core customer base of national newspapers, the company couldn’t afford to experience any downtime and the IT team required technology that was simple and easy to manage.
Fredrik Bogårdh, IT Manager at V-TAB commented, “Our clients rely on V-TAB to be a creative partner that can offer a quality, but speedy service. For this reason, we needed a solution that was simple to navigate and gave us improved high availability and redundancy. Something we weren’t getting from our previous technology.”
Searching for a new solution with Data Resilience
With the help of its partner Data Resilience, V-TAB evaluated the IT market extensively looking for a robust solution. Keen to eliminate the burden of data management, the company first considered outsourcing its IT requirements, however after further research, hyperconvergence become a clear choice. “When comparing hyperconverged solutions with the cost of outsourcing, the figures just didn’t match up, and certainly didn’t point in the direction of outsourcing,” explains Bogårdh. “For this reason, we decided to opt for a hyperconverged solution that we could easily manage ourselves.”
As a result, the company considered options from Nutanix and SimpliVity alongside Scale Computing. Bogård commented, “We were 100 per cent committed to a hyperconverged platform and after considering a number of options, Scale Computing felt like the perfect choice. One of our core requirements was ensuring we could simplify IT management to save both time and money. We worked with our partner Data Resilience to ensure all of our IT requirements would be fulfilled and we have been extremely pleased right from the start.”
Per-Ola Mård, managing director at Data Resilience explained, “We are always looking to help customers meet their IT requirements, and for V-TAB, it was essential that the platform was not only simple but cost-effective. Scale Computing’s HC3 platform was a natural choice, it met all of the company’s requirements and the technology is uniquely designed with its own hypervisor and simple interface, providing the easy management V-TAB needs.”
Mård continues, “With VMWare, the customer traditionally uses a feature-rich, function-sprawled interface. However, whilst everyone pays for all of the features, most people only use a small number of them to fit their needs. With HC3 on the other hand, customers only need the basic survival-kit, which provides capabilities for managing the virtualisation, securing your VMs using high availability, disaster recovery, and highly efficient data optimisation functions – everything you need is included. Adding Scale Computing’s HC3 is like running a weight-watcher programme on your IT infrastructure – there’s less weight, meaning it’s easier to move your payload.”
V-TAB opted to deploy Scale Computing’s HC3 cluster as a centralised server platform across two of its sites in Sweden. With the help of Data Resilience, the company had the solution up and running within a day. Scale Computing’s technology now underpins all of V-TAB’s IT operations, offering data mirroring, high availability and disaster recovery – all features that the company required. “Data Resilience were extremely helpful throughout the process,” commented Bogårdh. “Scale Computing’s technology was simple and easy to set up and, as soon as we were up and running, the team was able to begin deploying VMs immediately.”
Reaping the benefits – simplified management
Scale Computing’s HC3 combines servers, virtualisation and management into one product, automating the overall management and allowing V-TAB’s IT team to focus on the core business objectives. Previously the IT team would have to spent time managing the IT environment, but now staff can focus on driving business value and running applications, rather the managing the underlying infrastructure. Bogårdh noted, “Using Scale Computing’s HC3 solution is simple and it gives us full control. Now we can handle all of our data, from both of our sites in Sweden, with one simple to use interface.”
With no additional software to licence, training or certifications needed to implement and run the Scale Computing solution, V-TAB has enjoyed a range of cost savings. The company has also been able to save 25 per cent of its administration costs due to the simplified management.
Enhancing business continuity
In addition, opting to deploy Scale Computing across two sites has allowed V-TAB to mirror all of its data, providing the company with an added benefit of data replication and protection. HC3 gives the IT team regular access to snapshots and cloning technologies to offer a full set of backup and recovery capabilities. As a production site, V-TAB offers services that are in constant use and being able to guarantee business continuity is of paramount importance to the organisations success and reputation. Scale Computing’s HC3 platform also offers retention, recovery and failover at no additional cost.
Improving high availability with on-premises IT
V-TAB is also benefiting from high availability since deploying Scale Computing. As Bogårdh explains, this was one of the key requirements of any new IT environment, and a major decision as to why the organisations opted for Scale Computing’s on-premises solution over a cloud based platform. Bogårdh noted, “At first, we did consider a cloud based solution. When looking to eliminate data management the cloud and outsourcing IT seems like a natural step. However, it’s also critical to consider other business requirements. For us, the cloud wasn’t an option due to latency. As a production site, high availability is key and the cloud couldn’t promise to deliver on this. With the cloud there is also the added risk of latency due to connection issues. Scale Computing’s HC3 platform provides the same benefits as the cloud, but with the added security of an on-premises solution. It really is as simple as putting your data in the cloud, but with added control.”
The future is HC3
Bogårdh commented, “Scale Computing is a perfect fit for our IT needs. No matter what the problem is, the support team are on hand to help.” As such, V-TAB is now in the process of deploying additional clusters at its production (ROBO) sites following its 12-month deployment with Scale Computing.
Bogårdh concluded, “To me, this is a great testament to Scale Computing and its product. We are looking forward to a continued partnership and seeing further benefits from a quality product.”
- Inherited legacy IT system through company acquisition – it was time-consuming to manage, costly and complex to maintain
- The solution needed to avoid complex environments with VMware to free up time through simplified management
- Cloud-based solutions were ruled out due to costly satellite connections
- Limited IT staff on hand at offshore sites to manage and maintain IT systems
Scale Computing Solution
Telford Offshore selected Scale Computing’s HC3 platform to support its headquarters in Dubai, where its corporate and project management team organise, and support marine operations on its vessels.
- Simplified and reduced management time
- Complete redundancy – always on 24/7
- Business continuity
- Snapshot replication and backup
- Ready for future deployments at sea
Telford Offshore – A global trusted partner providing safe access and support of offshore work sites
Telford Offshore is a new global company built on years of experience in the oil and gas industry. Headquartered in Dubai, the organisation was formed through a number of vessel acquisitions. The company supports multiple offshore activities, focusing on high capacity accommodation, lifting, fabrication and installation services. A single Telford Offshore vessel can accommodate 400 marine crew for projects including laying pipelines and carrying out subsea construction. Each vessel is able to provide accommodation services, to transport, lift and install subsea or topside components, lay pipe and carry out subsea construction work. The company has a total of four modern vessels, all build since 2007, with multipurpose capabilities ensuring that diverse operations can be undertaken by one single vessel.
Existing IT environment
As part of its acquisition Telford Offshore took over a legacy IT environment which was built on HP Blade. The company saw this as an opportunity to bring in a completely new and modern IT infrastructure that could be customised to suit the business’ unique requirements.
The existing storage was difficult and complex to manage. The company was acquiring different businesses at this time which posed the perfect opportunity to revaluate its IT systems. Not only was it important to ensure smooth and streamlined IT management, but any new system should be future proof and able to meet upcoming edge computing plans. Wouter Lustig IT Manager at Telford Offshore commented, “The legacy system we had inherited through the acquisition was reaching the end of its lifespan and it required more time to manage than we had available. As a new company we wanted to start fresh with an IT system that was right for us. We wanted a solution that was simple to manage and would be future proof for possible further deployments on the vessels at sea. It was essential that this solution would save us time on the day-to-day management.”
Ensuring Telford Offshore deployed the right solution was critical to the business. With vessels at sea, the technology must be available 24/7 and it was critical any system deployed would be fully redundant. The IT infrastructure also needed to be incredibly simple and time-efficient to manage the business with a low overhead on day-to-day IT administration. Working offshore and in remote sites means the company does not have the same level of onsite expertise to hand.
In addition, with internet connectively slow and costly at sea, the company decided any infrastructure would need to be local and on-premises. With these key requirements Telford Offshore decided a hyperconverged solution was the way forwards. Lustig explained, “We knew we needed a hyperconverged solution as it combines everything we need for our IT infrastructure into one easy to manage appliance, all while being cost effective and efficient.”
He continued, “Our WAN connection is via satellite which is extremely expensive, instantly ruling out a possible cloud solution as it would not work in the long run. In addition, with limited IT staff on our vessels we needed a system that was so simple to manage it could be installed and used by someone with no technical experience. If we needed to send out technical staff to manage any issues it could become vastly expensive.”
Proof of Concept
After deciding on a hyperconverged solution, Telford Offshore evaluated a number of different vendors including Nutanix and SimpliVity, before choosing Scale Computing’s HC3 solution. Lustig explained, “We evaluated the market, however Nutanix and SimpliVity weren’t what we were looking for. We needed to be able to guarantee performance and ensure simplified management. Nutanix were secretive around their performance figures in the field and SimpliVity required a lot of technical work.”
Telford Offshore reached out on the Spiceworks network to discuss hyperconverged deployments with the wider international IT community. Lustig noted, “After reaching out on Spiceworks we got a response from Scale Computing. The company were open and helpful in answering a number of questions we had around hyperconvergence and how it would fit with our IT requirements. After looking at Nutanix, HPE’s SimpliVity and Scale Computing it was clear that the HC3 platform offered us exactly what we needed – a complete, cost effective, easy to manage data centre in a box.”
Telford Offshore worked with its partner Cegeka and after a successful proof of concept the company deployed the HC1150 three node cluster, which offered snapshot replication and onsite backup, high availability and full redundancy. Guy Verstraeten, Director of Infrastructure Benelux at Cegeka commented, “Scale Computing’s HC3 platform was a natural fit. The solution was designed with simplicity, scalability and availability at its core and these three aspects matched the businesses requirements perfectly. It pairs greatly with our added services and expertise in hyperconverged infrastructure. Our customers are often looking to save time and simplify their IT environments, so it is great to have Scale Computing’s HC3 solution as part of our product portfolio.”
Benefits and planning for a simplified future
Telford Offshore immediately noticed enhanced performance and simplified management as soon as the solution was deployed. Lustig noted, “The HC3 solution arrived, there was no need for an instruction manual, and within 40 minutes we had the first Windows server up and running – it was as easy as that. We copied the data base over and the performance increase was immediately noticeable.”
In addition, as a growing company Telford Offshore wanted the flexibility to scale and grow on demand. The Scale Computing solution allows nodes to be added as and when its required eliminating the need to over provision storage, as IT infrastructure can be built out to meet unique business and application needs. The system also provides replication, snapshot and cloning technology capabilities, providing the continuity and redundancy needed to keep IT systems up and running 24/7.
Alongside performance requirements a key part of the IT deployment was ensuring that Telford Offshore could future proof its environment. Lustig concluded, “We wanted the solution to be a long-term future proof investment with the possibility of deploying it on the vessels at sea. Being low on overhead, the solution needed to be simple enough for the one or two electricians on board to install and deploy. Scale Computing’s solution is perfect to meet these requirements, it operates as its own data centre in a box and can easily connect back to the deployment at the headquarters in Dubai. We are still amazed at how easy it is to install, deploy and manage – we don’t need to worry about the management of the day-to-day solution, it just takes care of itself.
- The VMware solution and legacy IT hardware was expensive and complicated to maintain
- Licensing fees were expensive
- Small IT team with limited technical skills for managing VMware
- No disaster recovery or backup strategy in place
Scale Computing Solution
Swedish Standards Institute (SIS) deployed Scale Computing’s HC3 platform along with an additional cluster in a separate data centre for disaster recovery and backup.
Key applications used
- Website for selling standards developed with EpiServer CMS, EpiServer Commerce, .Net core & SQLServer. Running on Windows 2012 with SQLServer 2016
- Jira Software (project management tool for agile teams) running on Windows 2012 and MySQL
- Confluence (document collaboration) running on Windows 2012 and MySQL
- Windows Active Directory, File and Print Services
- Bitbucket, a web-based version control repository. Running on Windows 2012 and SQLServer 2016
- TeamCity, a Java-based build management and continuous integration server. Running on Windows 2012 and SQLServer 2016
- Microsoft System Center Operations Manager
- Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager
- No additional licensing fees to pay
- Cost savings on more affordable hardware
- Time saving though simplified management
- Affordable disaster recovery and backup
- 24/7 availability
SIS – An international institute of standards
SIS manages and coordinates standardisation in Sweden and the organisation represents Sweden in the European standardisation organisation CEN and the global organisation ISO. SIS’s clients are a cross-section of Sweden’s private sector and public sector organisations, including global businesses, government agencies, local authorities and county councils, trade associations and voluntary organisations. All SIS’s national and international standards are based on, developed through and quality-assured by the SIS standardisation process. These standards are established within a broad range of industries and business sectors to facilitate trade, innovation, and increase business efficiency.
Existing IT environment
SIS’s IT environment was partially-virtualised, running on VMware and legacy Dell hardware with disks and a subsystem. The institute needed a complete refresh on its hardware and decided to take the opportunity to look at the option of moving away from VMware, which was expensive and complicated to manage.
Martin Pucher, Systems Administrator at SIS commented, “Our hardware clearly needed refreshing so we decided to take the opportunity to look for a completely new solution. We had been struggling to work with VMware, it was complicated to upgrade and we simply did not have the technical knowhow.”
SIS has over 180 employees operating internationally, to publish and sell standards and manuals, as well as offer training and consulting services. This means IT underpins the Institute’s entire operation, so it was crucial that the system had 24/7 availability. Like most businesses today, SIS had a tight budget restrictions and found VMware’s licensing fees to be expensive. To add to this pressure, running VMware meant there was no extra budget and so SIS had no disaster recovery and backup solution in place.
Pucher commented, “At SIS we are a small IT team, with only one person responsible for managing the infrastructure, and we did not have the skills or budget to manage VMware properly. We do not have the time or capacity to send any members of the team to training sessions so it was essential that we upgraded to a low-maintenance solution.”
SIS turned to its partner, Data Resilience, for market knowledge and insight. After discussing the Institutes requirements and skill challenges, Data Resilience recommended Scale Computing’s hyperconvergence solution and provided a demonstration via their onsite kit.
Pucher explained, “After a discussion with Data Resilience we knew we had three options; outsource to a third party hosting provider, stay with VMware or upgrade with Scale Computing. We felt that outsourcing would be a very big step for us and we were certain we wanted to keep control over the system, so on-premises was crucial. Data Resilience had the solution onsite and after they showed us a demonstration it was clear that Scale Computing’s HC3 platform was the solution we had been looking for.”
Per-Ola Mård, managing director at Data Resilience commented, “At Data Resilience our number one focus is helping customers meet their IT requirements without compromise. It was clear to us that SIS were over-paying for a solution with a host of functions they didn’t require, which in turn meant they could not afford the additional functions that they did need, like disaster recovery. Scale Computing’s solution is perfect for businesses like SIS – it provides capabilities for managing the virtualisation, securing VMs using high availability, disaster recovery, and highly efficient data optimisation functions all in one easy to use system. We are happy to have Scale Computing’s HC3 Platform in our portfolio, to enable us to help businesses like SIS, get the simple, easy-to-use solution they need.”
Full Steam Ahead with Deployment
After Data Resilience provided the demonstration, SIS decided to move forward with the purchase. Pucher commented, “We were completely confident that the solution was perfect for us after seeing the demonstration. We had already purchased the solution when we began running our tests and we were not disappointed – the solution worked exactly as expected.”
SIS deployed a four-node cluster on the primary site to run the whole environment. Within three months the system was fully migrated, with 20TB of data and 80VMs running across a now fully virtualised environment.
Pucher commented, “The deployment of the first cluster was very simple and we were really pleased with the speed and ease at which were able to migrate the system. We had assumed that, technically speaking, it would have been easier to migrate VMware-to-VMware. However, as it were, migrating to the Scale Computing solution could not have been easier. We never had any reason to roll back the migration, everything worked perfectly and there was no end-user disruption. Additionally, we saved money instantly as the solution had no additional licensing fees, which had been expensive with the old VMware solution.”
Peace of Mind with Disaster Recovery Backup
Scale Computing’s cost-effective nature meant SIS was also able to purchase and deploy a secondary three-node cluster in a separate data centre for snapshot replication, disaster recovery and backup.
Pucher said, “The three-node cluster for disaster recovery and backup was most impressive and Data Resilience were especially helpful in make sure everything was configured before installation. In total it took two hours to install and we were replicating that same day – we got it started on Friday and by Monday the entire system was replicated. Having this additional system for backup gave us great peace-of-mind.
Since the successful deployment of the HC3 platform SIS has benefited from the solutions simple management and 24/7 availability, meaning the IT team can now spend more time on value-add tasks like deploying and cloning servers.
Additionally, by choosing the Scale Computing solution for both the IT environment and disaster recovery, SIS has consolidated its IT vendors down to one, meaning one point-of-contact. This means the IT team has been able to focus on tasks that add company value, rather than managing the IT system.
Pucher concluded, “We could not be happier with Scale Computing’s solution – it is perfect for our team, especially its ease of use. We have been running Scale Computing for more than a year now and it still continues to deliver every hour of every day. We have performed two upgrades, planned and scheduled, with the push of a button. And we have the full reassurance and the ever-watching eye of the Scale Computing support team in the background to confirm everything was running fine. We definitely made the right decision to go with Scale Computing.”
Auburn University was established in 1856 as the East Alabama Male College, 20 years after the city of Auburn’s founding. With more than 25,000 students, Auburn University offers more than 140 degree options in 13 schools and colleges at the undergraduate, graduate and professional levels.
Auburn’s schools and colleges include: College of Agriculture; College of Architecture, Design & Construction; Harbert College of Business; College of Education; Samuel Ginn College of Engineering; School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences; Graduate School; Honors College; College of Human Sciences; College of Liberal Arts; School of Nursing; Harrison School of Pharmacy; College of Sciences and Mathematics; College of Veterinary Medicine
Auburn University has developed into one of the largest universities in the South, remaining at the educational forefront with its traditional blend of arts and applied science.
Auburn University earns its reputation as a premier public institution in part for how it embraces information technology – both to enhance the education, research and outreach service it provides, and to promote the economic vitality of the State of Alabama and the citizens it serves. To achieve these goals, Auburn University not only embraces state-of-the-art technology but equips its faculty, staff and students with the tools, training and support they need in the pursuit of their respective endeavors.
Like most institutions of higher education, each college within Auburn University functions autonomously from one another with the respective dean deciding how best to appropriate their respective budgets and staff various departments in the interest of its students and programs.
In 2013, the College of Architecture, Design & Construction decided to streamline its IT department, elevating Joel Beckum to IT Coordinator from a position of desktop support. While Beckum had experience in managing and supporting the applications used in the department, he had little experience with back-end infrastructure. After surveying the college’s IT infrastructure that was a couple of generations old, Beckum reached out to Phil Forrest, Information Technology Manager for the College of Sciences and Mathematics, to consult on how best to modernize within the imposed fiscal and personnel restraints.
“After an initial audit, I saw what I had and how little experience I had,” said Beckum. “After some due diligence, I talked to several vendors. What Scale Computing told me really, really interested me. They are able to simplify my network infrastructure so that I can concentrate on applications and VMs. .”
Forrest, likewise, found his college’s existing hardware was starting to show its age. With a Sun X4150 server, 2 IBM BladeCenter LS22s, 2 VDI servers and a variety of number-crunching systems, he needed a file server that could handle the complexities of VMware View and could be managed by his small staff of IT personnel. With the authorization of both college’s deans to work together, Forrest also settled on Scale’s HC3 solution.
“While VMware View works well, VMware can get complicated really fast,” said Forrest. “With three people supporting 5,000 users – and no money for additional personnel – I had to find a solution that was super simple. Scale hits the sweet spot with what’s possible. With its built-in hypervisor, I don’t have to deal with or pay another vendor.”
Scale Computing’s HC3 platform brings storage, servers, virtualization and management together in a single, comprehensive system. With no virtualization software to license and no external storage to buy, HC3 products lower out-of-pocket costs and radically simplify the infrastructure needed to keep applications running. HC3 products make the deployment and management of a highly available and scalable infrastructure as easy to manage as a single server.
“Scale’s HC3 solution does everything that I need it to,” said Beckum. “It simplifies my network infrastructure so that I can be an expert. I was a desktop support guy who’s now a system admin. Scale makes me look like a pro. As far as my users know, I’m a genius.”
Forrest also appreciated HC3’s simplicity as well as its built-in hypervisor. Unlike other solutions that require multiple vendors to supply the server, storage and virtualization, Scale Computing’s HC3 virtualization platform is a complete “datacenter in a box” integrated into a single appliance.
“With the BYOH model, if something didn’t work right, the software vendor would blame the hardware vendor and the hardware vendor blames the software vendor,” said Forrest. “Scale provides a simple solution to this very common problem. If we did this the old school way, it would have been two to three times as much. Scale is so exciting, it’s boring.”
The colleges continue to move their existing infrastructure over to the Scale HC3 while getting faculty that is tied to the old way of doing things to adapt to the new virtualized environment. Each college is evaluating their future needs and are looking to integrate their Scale environments into Auburn University’s active directory.
While Beckum and Forrest appreciate that their Scale solutions did “everything they claimed it could do,” they say that with the success of their projects it isn’t just about the hardware. Both men were equally impressed with the level of service and support they received from everyone at Scale.
“Support is top notch,” said Beckum. “Even the sales guy will answer tech questions.”
“I don’t have to go through an offshore call center to get my technical support question answered,” said Beckum. “I can go through Scale’s customer portal or even call somebody directly to get my questions answered.”
- Needed to enhance and upgrade its online workplace
- Installation was time consuming
- Existing IT infrastructure was complex to manage
- Unable to avoid downtime and needed to patch existing IT environment
- No ability to scale out
- Ability to scale out as and when needed
- No licensing fees
- Easy to use and manage
- Drastically reduced installation time allowing the company to focus on other value creating activities
- Able to offer customers enhanced speed and higher performance
- Replication, cloning and snapshots to deliver business continuity services
- Enhancing customer services and the ability to deliver faster results
- Creating an environment to offer new managed and/or cloud services
MKBonlinediensten.nl – Manager Service Provider for SMBs
MKBonlinediensten.nl is dedicated to providing customers in the Netherlands with online technology services to support business development and growth for local SMBs. As a Managed Service Provider (MSP), the company delivers a range of solutions, offering a secure online workplace, that enables customers to use and deploy the latest technology services in the industry. MKBonlinediensten.nl improves its customers services offering reliable and tested solutions that meet the individual needs of organisations.
Looking to enhance IT Services
Having decided to enhance its online service for the workplace and grow to the next level, MKBonlinediensten.nl looked at deploying a new solution that would enable it to support customer growth. In particular, the company also wanted to address installation time ensuring quick and efficient customer service.
After researching the market, MKBonlinediensten.nl decided on a hyperconverged solution. The company wanted an environment that was easy to deploy and manage, and hyperconvergence offered the best fit. Druppers commented, “We definitely wanted a hyperconverged solution and before finding Scale Computing we came across Nutanix. However, this was very expensive, it was designed for enterprises and didn’t suit our requirements.”
After inquiring about other vendors in this space, MKBonlinediensten.nl discovered Scale Computing, and after a thorough evaluation the service provider opted for Scale Computing’s HC3 platform. Scale Computing’s hyperconverged solution provides a complete data centre in a box with storage, servers, high availability and virtualisation combined into one solution. The appliance is easily deployed, has no external licensing fees as its virtualisation is built on the KVM hypervisor, and it also enables enhanced disaster recovery with snapshots, cloning and replication. Druppers noted, “The Scale Computing solution was very easy to handle, manage and deploy. It provided the same benefits as Nutanix but was much simpler and it suited all of our requirements.”
Improving Customer Service
Since the deployment, MKBonlinediensten.nl has not only benefited from simplified and enhanced IT infrastructure but it has enabled smoother business processes. The Scale Computing solution did not replace an existing storage element but instead has added an enhanced offering, enabling MKBonlinediensten.nl to pass these benefits onto its customers. A major selling point has been the ability to dramatically reduce the installation time of new solutions, enabling MKBonlinediensten.nl to respond quicker to customer requests. Druppers explained, “Previously what would have taken us three – six weeks can now be built in a matter of days. Not only can we provide quicker services to our existing customers, but this has freed up a lot of our time allowing us to work with new businesses.”
MKBonlinediensten.nl has also been able to provide new services to its customers since deploying Scale Computing’s HC3 platform. With its ease of use and reduced management time building a temporary server is simple, quick and easy. Druppers commented, “Previously we didn’t offer this as a service, however now we can build temporary servers as and when needed upon request. Scale Computing has allowed us to be more flexible. We can also take advantage of adding resources to VMs from a central pool, adding storage, processor or memory when needed is really simple.”
Druppers continued, “When we set out to look for a new solution, we wanted to offer increased services to our customers and take the next natural step to innovating our online workplace and the Scale Computing solution has allowed us to do this.”
HEAT – Increasing Speed and Performance
In addition, MKBonlinediensten.nl has also benefited from increased performance and speed with Scale Computing’s native HEAT feature – HyperCore Enhanced Automated Tiering. Druppers explained,“With the HEAT feature, we can add increased speed as and when is needed by a simple bar feature. It’s incredibility easy to use and allows us to adjust the speed to our unique requirements. As a service provider, each of our customers has a different set of needs and it’s great to be able to adjust to meet these demands.”
Business Continuity and Eliminating Downtime
The HC3 solution also enables replication, snapshots and cloning, providing business continuity. Druppers said, “With our previous IT environment we needed to patch up the system and reboot our IT which would take time. Scale Computing has completely eliminated this with regular, simple updates.”
Cost Savings and Reduced Management Time
The Scale Computing HC3 solution is designed to be simple and easy to use, organisations can also scale out as and when needed, increasing capacity which avoids the need to over provision storage. Druppers concluded, “The Scale Computing solution is easy to use and requires minimal effort. The interface is simple and it offers everything we need. The time we have saved can now be spent on enhancing our services and working with customers rather than managing the IT.”
Triton School Corporation is based in Bourbon, IN with approximately 1,000 students and 71 employees all of whom are IT users. The school district operates under the philosophy of continuous quality improvement, ensuring the continuous improvement of processes and outcomes throughout the district for both the students and faculty. To this end, the IT department of 2 looked to implement high availability in their virtualized infrastructure as they expanded their storage footprint.
Triton School Corporation had already virtualized their environment using VMware and looked to expand that implementation by introducing shared storage and increasing their licensing with VMware to allow for high availability. This functionality was at the heart of their purchasing decision. As Ted Fisher, Director of Technology at Triton said, “Schools need the same High Availability that every small business does.” Triton needed a solution that would keep their virtual machines up and available for the faculty and students to stay productive throughout the school year.
With only two employees in IT to support the entire organization, Triton also required a system that was easy to implement and manage. The solution would need to be easily supported with existing staff without extensive training. Continuing on with a VMware implementation seemed to meet this criterion to a certain extent, but the shared storage required for high availability introduced an unknown variable.
In addition to the requirements of High Availability and Simplicity, Triton required a system that was affordable enough to stay within budget. “In the K-12 world, price is always a big part of everything you do,” said Fisher.
- Highly Available VMs
- Simple-to-use system
- Affordable End-to-End Solution
Challenge: Implementing High Availability With Limited IT Resources
With mainly HP servers currently implemented, Triton set out to research competitive bids for implementing an HP shared storage solution coupled with VMware. The problems they quickly discovered were two-fold:
- The complexity introduced to maintain high availability for the virtual machines would have been overwhelming for the limited staff to implement and manage. This would require intimate knowledge of VMware as well as the shared storage (either a SAN or NAS) required for features like vMotion and failover.
- Support for such a complex product required several vendors that could create logistical problems in the event of an issue in the environment.
Having had some experience with VMware, Ted Fisher recalled, “With VMware, even if there were an issue with the Hypervisor, someone on the phone support could always blame the 3rd party.” Triton feared implementing such a complex environment without a single vendor responsible for support.
Solution: Simple, Automated Platform That Delivered Business Class High Availability
Triton School Corporation was first introduced to Scale Computing’s HC3 system – a complete ‘datacenter-in-a-box’ – through their trusted advisor and Scale Platinum Partner, SmartIT. They were immediately drawn to the simplicity and elegance of the virtualization platform, believing it would deliver on their key criteria: high availability, simplicity and affordability.
HC3 is a hyper-converged solution that combines servers, storage, and virtualization into a single, highly available, easy-to-use and scalable platform that removes the complexity of a typical virtualization deployment.
Simple: The simplicity inherent in the HC3 system is evident in the setup through to the day-to-day management of the system. By converging the infrastructure in the virtualized environment, Triton is now able to manage their entire stack from a single user interface accessible through any standard browser that supports HTML 5. Having been created specifically for the IT generalist of a small to midsize IT shop, ease-of-use is a core tenant of the HC3 design.
“HC3 is just so easy,” said Ted Fisher, Director of Technology. “I was creating new VMs in no time…all without any specialized training.”
Available: Every virtual machine created on an HC3 system is automatically configured for high availability meaning that in the event of hardware failure, the VMs running on the failed node will failover to the remaining nodes in the cluster without manual intervention from the user. Compared to their existing virtual environment where a failure meant extended downtime for critical applications due to a lack of failover, Triton could now rest assured that their applications are available for their students and faculty.
“HC3 watches itself so that you don’t have to!” Fisher continued.
Triton happened to experience a drive failure in the first 6 months after implementation (all covered under the HC3 ScaleCare support and warranty included in the overall price). This experience demonstrated the availability inherent in HC3 as the system and virtual machines running in the environment remained operational. The system automatically, restriped and remirrored the data from that down drive to the available space in the cluster and a notification was sent to Ted Fisher who was able to replace the drive at his leisure.
Affordable End-to-End Solution: HC3 allowed Triton to pay for what they needed on day one, knowing that the system would grow alongside their virtual environment and district’s needs in the future. With HC3, there are no upfront costs or licensing complexities. If they need to grow, they simply add more nodes. No rip and replace, no expensive complex systems, no headaches.
With no virtualization software to license, no external storage to buy and the hypervisor built in to the system, HC3 radically simplifies the infrastructure needed to keep critical applications running. The architecture and user interface of HC3 makes the deployment and management of a highly available and scalable infrastructure as easy to manage as a single server.
“HC3 was the perfect solution for the price,” said Fisher.
The pricing of HC3 was so affordable that Triton was able to implement a secondary site of HC3 nodes for disaster recovery purposes. Triton plans to use the native replication built into ICOS (Scale’s Intelligent Clustered Operating System) to replicate the data from the primary site to a secondary site.
Standard School District has a student population of approximately 2,900 students with three K-5 elementary schools and one middle school in Bakersfield, CA. Schools in the Standard School District are modern, functional facilities that are equipped with computers and various multimedia tools that are all supported by a small staff of 3 in the IT department.
The IT department recognized the benefits of virtualization and had deployed VMware ESXi 4.0, but it lacked high availability. One primary concern of Standard School District was that the failure of any single server hosting their virtual machines would cause down time in their environment. Without high availability, Standard School District was unable to virtualize more than 25 percent of their server infrastructure.
To continue using VMware, Standard School District would have had to deploy shared storage using either a Storage Area Network (SAN) or Network Attached Storage (NAS), adding to the already complex environment of host servers. Such an infrastructure required more IT resources than Standard School District was able to warrant for the deployment of the project and the ongoing management of the environment.
Not only would Standard School District need to purchase a SAN or NAS, they would also need to upgrade their licensing from the basic hypervisor to a more expensive version that offered high availability. The initial purchase combined with the ongoing management costs were prohibitive given their limited IT budget and resources.
After evaluating several options including HP LeftHand, EMC and NetApp, Jefferson Davis, the Technology and Information Systems Manager at Standard School District, found an alternative solution in Scale Computing’s HC3. HC3 was built with the availability of a virtualized server and SAN, the scalability of a clustered infrastructure and the simplicity of a single server. By deploying HC3, Standard School District would be able to realize the benefits of a fully virtualized environment without the added complexity of a typical virtualization deployment – all at a fraction of the costs of deploying the other solution.
“HC3 makes the architecture—for storage and for virtualization—much simpler than what other storage vendors are currently doing, at a much lower price point. HC3 saved us about 75 percent of what the other solutions quoted us for storage, licenses and additional servers. And, we looked at all of the ‘usual suspects’ before finding Scale Computing’s HC3.”
The HC3 system combines multiple independent nodes with computing and storage resources into a single pool of storage and compute resources. Availability is automatic, meaning that when Standard School District creates a VM on HC3, it is automatically made highly available. In the event of a full node failure, HC3 will failover the VMs on that node to the other nodes in the cluster without any manual intervention.
HC3 does not require storage protocols, networking or provisioning. On the storage side, there are no RAID sets, iSCSI targets or LUNs, multi-pathing, storage security, zoning or fabric for Standard School District to setup or manage. On the server side, they no longer have to deal with the complexity of iSCSI initiators, host and VM file systems, server clusters and policies.
To create a new virtual machine (VM), Standard School District simply assigns the resources necessary for the VM and loads the operating system. Using HC3, the district was able to save hours of unnecessary overhead in the deployment of new VMs.
After several months of using HC3, Davis expects to move from 24U of servers and storage down to just 4U – giving the school district dramatic savings in terms of complexity and cost savings in power and cooling. When Standard School District needs more compute or storage resources for their HC3 system, they can now simply purchase additional nodes for the system. Adding these nodes is as simple as racking and cabling the power and networking. The additional resources are then recognized by the HC3system and added to the overall pool of storage and compute resources.