Category: General

Reflections From HC3 Customers

It’s always good to reflect on the feedback you are being given.  So I wanted to take some time and share some of the comments that I have received about HC3 *Only names have been changed due to shyness.

“The Tired IT Commuter”

 “Ronald” is the lone IT person at his company. He’s spread across three educational sites managing 100 servers and 500 desktops.  He has to commute up to 50 miles in-between all of these sites. I could hear the tiredness in his voice and when he saw the solution that I was introducing him to, that tiredness turned into excitement. All servers, across all sites, managed by a single browser – it was the simple answer to a question he’d pondered for years.

“The Jaded CTO”

I spent time with another customer, “Tony,” who originally was quoted a monolithic virtualization solution. He is the CTO of a manufacturing company and upset because he could not justify the price for an enterprise solution when he was not an enterprise company.  His needs were different and he didn’t need everything that was being sold to him.  He searched for a reason not to purchase a solution from Scale Computing since we were not an incumbent solution. During my onsite install with him, I asked about his purchasing decision and he told me that we gave him everything he needed.  If he needed extra features, he would buy them from third-party vendors but he appreciated that he wasn’t forced into buying them.

“The Prudent Admin”

Lastly, I discussed the infrastructure needs of a long-time storage customer of mine, “Jared.”  He was burdened by the aspects of virtualization that required him to construct an environment from disparate parts. I asked him why he didn’t just add virtualization into the existing Scale Computing storage that he previously purchased. He was dumbfounded. The shift of simply expanding his existing technology had not occurred to him since it is so foreign in IT technology.  Once he learned that it was as simple as adding HC3 into his existing Scale storage, he never looked back.

The vast majority of people I talk to echo these sentiments, and as you can see, my team does not simply ship product and move on.  We are proud that we can help these customers build a solution that works well for their companies. As one IT person to another, I am glad that we can work together to build something better.

Survey: Cloud Computing Takes a Backseat to On-Site Virtualization [Infographic]

Today, Scale Computing released results of a market survey conducted by ApplicationContinuity.org. Sponsored by the developers of HC3, the report showcases why midmarket organizations are embracing on-premise virtualization over the cloud, the driving factors behind this decision, and what alternatives companies are choosing for their mission-critical applications and data. More than 3,000 IT professionals in the US participated in the recent survey, which shows that nine-out-of-ten midsize companies prefer to keep their critical applications and data local and that cost and complexity remain key concerns for both cloud and on-site virtualization. For a complete list of survey findings, download the free report by visiting: http://bit.ly/CloudTakesABackSeat.

 

[Infographic] Cloud Computing Takes a Backseat to On-Site Virtualization

HC3 Under The Hood: Virtual Machine Placement and Failover

A few posts ago we walked through the process of creating a new VM on HC3. One thing you may have noticed is that nowhere in the process did we specify a physical location for that VM to be created, and even when we powered it on, once again we did not specify a physical location for that VM to run.  We just created it and turned it on.  Beyond the simplicity that presents, that highlights some very important concepts that make HC3 uniquely scalable and flexible.

In the last post, we discussed how HC3 VM virtual hard disk are actually stored as files (qcow2) format, and even how we can access those files for advanced operations. But once again, we didn’t discuss (or need to discuss) where the data for those files physically resided.

We will dig into this much further but the real magic of HC3 is that all nodes share access to a single pool of storage – all the disks in all nodes of the cluster are pooled together as a common resource for storing and retrieving data. That happens automatically when the HC3 cluster is “initialized” and requires no additional management by the user, even as additional nodes are added to the resource pool down the line.

Because all HC3-capable nodes read and write data using the entire pool of storage and all HC3 nodes have access to all the data, any virtual machine can be started on any node of the HC3 cluster based on the availability of compute resources that VM requires. For example, if a new VM requires 16GB RAM there may only be certain nodes with that much currently available and HC3 makes this node selection automatically. HC3 allows running VMs to be “live migrated” to other HC3 nodes without the VM being shutdown and with no noticeable impact to the workload being run or clients connecting to it. In addition, should an HC3 node fail, any VMs that were running on that node will be quickly re-started on remaining nodes since every HC3 node has access to the same pool of redundant storage.  Once again since the storage is available to all nodes in the HC3 system, the primary factor for determining where to failover VMs is availability of compute resources required by each workload and HC3 determines the optimal location automatically.

For those who are more visual (like me) the following diagram may help to picture this more clearly.

ICOSstack

 

In the next post of this series, we will dive into the HC3 distributed storage layer and detail how data is stored across all the physical disks in the cluster providing data redundancy should a disk drive fail and aggregating the I/O performance of all the drives in the system.

Virtualization Even Your Grandma Can Understand

As a follow up to my last post, Virtualization So Easy Even a Four-Year-Old Can Do It, I want to continue to focus on the simplicity that virtualization can and should be.  Yet explaining what virtualization actually is, can be a complicated task to anyone not in technology. The hypervisor splits the computers. Huh? They are virtual machines! That just sounds like bad 3D from the 90’s. There are many machines in one. That just sounds like too much information (and awkward). You as an IT professional should be able to explain to your grandma not only what you do, but virtualization as well. Let me share the best ways I’ve learned over the years for doing just that. Continue reading

3/27 Webinar Registration: Cloud Computing Takes a Backseat to Virtualization

Learn why organizations are embracing virtualization instead of the cloud.

Cloud computing’s many virtues have been celebrated as good for business. So, why do a large percentage of organizations choose to keep their critical applications out of the cloud and run them on their local infrastructure? Join industry expert Stephen Foskett and Scale Computing executives to learn the survey results and driving factors behind this cloud reluctance and what companies are doing with their mission-critical applications and data.

Cloud migration stagnation—keeping it local

This webinar shares the results of an independent survey of more than 3,000 IT professionals from a wide cross section of industries on the approaches they’re using to virtualize their infrastructures. During this webinar you will learn:

  • The prevalence of choosing local infrastructure over the cloud
  • What types of applications IT teams are choosing to run on local infrastructures
  • Key concerns among IT professionals as to how and where data is managed

A live Q&A session will follow the presentation.

Register Today >> Continue reading

Why IBM, HP, Dell, EMC, Oracle, VMware, Cisco and Others Will NEVER Give You What You Really Need

I’m going to put the Value Chain on hold for a post or two because I want to explore some other stuff with you.  I was on a trip recently and met with a number of existing and prospective Scale Computing VAR partners and potential customers.  The conversations were pretty normal for a company like ours, one that has brought to market a unique solution – our hyperconverged HC3 product.  The discussion of why Scale is here and how we are being successful in the face of major competition always comes up.

The answer:  The reason companies like ours exist is to solve problems that the big guys can’t or won’t. Continue reading

HC3 Under the Hood: Virtual Hard Disks and CD/DVD Images

In the last post of this series, we walked through the process of creating a VM on the HC3 platform.  In just a few clicks, you create a virtual machine container and allocate CPU, memory, and storage resources to that VM. When you start the VM and install your operating system and applications, that storage is presented as virtual hard disks and will appear like a virtual c:\ or d:\ drive to your applications.

HC3 Virtual Disks in Windows Device Manager
HC3 Virtual Disks in Windows Device Manager

Continue reading

Acronis Gives you Highly Accessible Data on Scale’s Highly Available Hyperconverged Platform

We just announced a relationship with Acronis. The company is a fast-growing backup and recovery company with tens of thousands of customers around the planet. We partnered with them because they offered an advanced feature set for virtualization that complimented the snapshot and recovery features inherent in HC3.

One of the most important reasons we partnered with Acronis wasn’t just their solid technology; we like their long-term vision. The company is moving quickly to be a purveyor of data high accessibility. I’m sure you’ve heard that HA means high availability. With the Acronis and Scale Computing combination, it means both. Continue reading

Scale Computing Adds Vision Solutions to Alliance Program; Partnership Enchances Functionaility of the HC3™ Hyperconverged Platform

Today, Scale Computing has announced that Vision Solutions has joined our Alliance Program. The partnership will enhance the functionality of the HC3™ hyperconverged platform with remote failover and decreased downtime of physical to virtual migrations. Vision Solutions is the third technology partner to join Scale’s Alliance Program in the past few months. Scale continues to build and strengthen the  ecosystem of top application providers that our VARs and customers can trust for quality, value-added features that are simple to use and easy to purchase. Look for more alliance partnerships as HC3 continues to gain momentum in the virtualization market. Visit our alliances page on the website to learn more. Continue reading

Don’t Believe Them – Scale Computing’s HC3 is not a cheaper solution that is less capable

I have heard something out in the market a few times lately, something that really bothers me. What I’ve heard is a new way for our competitors to try to marginalize us with our customers. It goes something like this:  “Scale is a great solution if you don’t have much budget for virtualization. But if you do have the budget, you should go for the ‘premium solution’ from the name brand vendors.” I.e. traditional servers + SAN + storage switching + virtualization software suite. We usually hear HP, Dell, IBM or even Cisco servers along with EMC, Netapp, or other storage along with VMware. Continue reading

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