Scott D. Lowe authored a fantastic article on HyperConverged.org last week that focused on where HyperConvergence is NOT a fit. It is not an angle you hear often from a proponent of HyperConvergence and I have to admit…I like it.
At Scale, we have a laser-like focus on serving the IT infrastructure needs of small-to-medium sized businesses. Similar to Scott Lowe’s approach in his article, it is as important to define our target customer as it is to define who is NOT our target customer. When it comes down to it, a large company who has IT employees that specialize in every component in the infrastructure (think SAN or network admin, etc.) may never fully appreciate the simplicity of HC3 or may even be somewhat threatened by it. Continue reading →
Great beasts can be killed by a 1,000 cuts, bleeding to death from the myriad slashes in their bodies – none of which, on their own, is a killer. And this, it seems, is the way things are going for big-brand storage arrays, as upstarts slice away at the market…
…the classic storage array was under attack because it was becoming too limiting, complex and expensive for more and more use-cases.
Looking at our own use-case for HC3, storage array adoption for our target segment (the SMB) rose with the demand for virtualization, providing shared storage for things like live migration and failover of VMs. It was a necessary evil to know that critical workloads weren’t going to go down for days or even weeks in the event of a hardware failure. Continue reading →
This past week I have been at the MidMarket CIO Forum in beautiful Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. It is a fun event with very intimate boardroom style sessions that give vendors a chance to sit down with CIOs to discuss industry trends, their current problems and our potential solutions. In each of our sessions there was at least one CIO saying something along the lines of, “I see the value of HC3, but I have already invested in VMware. How can you work in my environment?” This is usually in a lamenting tone after we have described the added cost that they likely paid for the licensing, implementation, hardware (SAN/NAS), and training associated with a traditional Do-it-Yourself virtualization deployment. (Side story…one potential customer told us his woes of sending a sysadmin off to a week long VMware training only to have him return to leave for another job weeks later. Ouch!).
Since it came up so often, I thought a quick blog post was warranted in case there are others out there asking the same question.
VMware customers coming to HC3 for their Primary Infrastructure
Many customers come to us having used VMware in the past. Most have implemented VMware in the traditional “inverted pyramid of doom” style (to steal a spiceworks-ism) with a handful of host servers connected down to shared storage through redundant switches. Often they come to us when it is time to refresh either a SAN or NAS or when looking to add a new host into their environment (which can push their VMware licensing cost up significantly as they jump from Essentials Plus or another 3 host package into a more enterprise license). When we talk to potential customers in this situation, it is not uncommon to hear things like “For the price of replacing my SAN, I could have an entire HC3 cluster?” or “For the price of just the licensing, I can put in a new HC3 system?”. There are several examples of this in our customer success stories that I recommend reading through if interested.
VMware customers purchasing HC3 as a Disaster Recovery Site
Customers who have already made a heavy investment in VMware for their primary site, but still want to take advantage of the simplicity and affordability of HC3 still have an option. Instead of purchasing and implementing the same VMware environment that they have in place at their primary site, this group of users can implement an HC3 system along side HC3 Availability to replicate data from their primary site to the HC3 system. In the event of a failure at the primary site, HC3 Availability will detect the failure and can automatically (or manually if you’d rather) bring up those VMs on HC3. Here is a video of Dave Demlow walking through the HC3 Availability product which demonstrates the failover process from VMware to HC3:
We have admittedly seen this approach act as a “trojan horse” where users begin with HC3 as a DR target, but fall in love with the simplicity of adding new highly available VMs. At the time of that next server/SAN refresh cycle, those customers often replace their primary site with HC3 as well.
If you have any questions on making the jump from VMware to HC3, please feel free to reach out to us for more information.
The Cloud is cool. It’s the latest thing! Everyone wants to touch it and have access to it. All the big vendors make stuff that supposedly delivers the Cloud to you. But…what’s the Cloud? I have probably met more entrepreneurs over the past 5 years that were doing Cloud Computing, or Cloud Storage, or building a Cloud Provider, or providing Cloud Services or Apps running in the Cloud, or building infrastructure for the Cloud than in any other technology area.
Two things are usually missing when you ask about them: who is the actual customer and does he need your cool, new Cloudy-thing? And, how will YOU make money so you can sustain your business?
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.
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 ComputingVAR 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 →
In my last blog post, I talked about the differences between Objectives and Results and the mistakes companies (including salespeople) make in confusing the two. The point is that the Sale is not an objective, but a result of doing the right things – and doing enough of them. The same is true for companies and really needs to be looked at closely especially when building your tech company, whether you “write code” or “sell code”, i.e. develop technology or market/sell it.
Here is the thing that many tech companies get WRONG: you need to build the company to achieve the result you want. And to do that, you have to do it in a certain way. I call this the “Value Chain” because the steps are linked in a certain order and you can’t really skip steps or put them in the wrong order and still be successful (accidents of business or nature notwithstanding). Continue reading →
In my last post, I wrote about why we focus on midsize companies. I reminisced the Saturday mornings in the server room of the construction company where my dad worked, where I’d play with the data-entry station while my dad worked on whatever was the IT problem du jour.
If you missed that post, you might check out this video of our CTO, Jason Collier, and me talking about our midmarket focus, where we share a couple of stories about the roots of our market focus.
An interesting thing about the midmarket is this: It is the most often overlooked segment of the market by large vendors and startups alike. It’s a difficult market to reach, with layers of consultants and resellers, tight budgets, and small IT staffs. But, there are hundreds of thousands of companies in the US alone that fit this profile. Continue reading →
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