The Birth of Your Cluster: Scale Installations

*Guest blogger and Scale employee, Morgan Myers.

There are a few moments in life when you look at the world around you and truly feel connected. That moment when you hold a newborn in your arms and marvel at the complexities and joys of a new being, all of the infinitesimal parts that had to have come together to make the perfect whole, like a well-oiled, natural machine, is one of those moments. At Scale Computing, we want that moment for you when you look at your new HC3™ cluster. We want you to step back with awe and hope for the future, because that is what we believe our software holds for small-to-midsize businesses.

As simple in needs as a newborn, an HC3 cluster is a complex whole rolled into an easy to care for package. With a quick-to-pick-up UI, combined storage and virtualization capabilities, and software architecture that builds on itself for an integrated whole, HC3 is really what the name implies: a three-in-one product of servers, storage, and virtualization.

Virtualization is the trend in the market and we want you to have the prodigal child, which means an early start to great knowledge, training, and experience – all part of our all-star installation process. Installations, whether they are for new clusters or additional nodes, are an integral base for our overall goal of “best ever” customer support, as mentioned in Mike Lyon’s blog post. If a customer or reseller approaches an installation with planning, forethought, excitement, and an eagerness to make the product and environment the best it can be, there is little that our installation team will not do to work with you and bring that dream to life.

So what is included in a Scale installation? Depending on how you have chosen to install the cluster, whether yourself or through a Scale supported reseller, the process may vary a bit. Here are the three main items: the Environment Form, the pre-installation call (PIC), and the installation itself.

First, a member of our installation team will be assigned to review your “Environment Form,” a required part of any installation. This form, available through our online Portal for any new installation, allows our team a peek into your environment, your expectations for the cluster, and any points that may need to be reviewed before the installation to make sure the cluster will be performing to its full potential.

The next step is the PIC. This is a call that is also scheduled through our Portal at your convenience and is done during standard support hours. This call promotes an understanding between the installer and the team. It is a review of the environment form, a conversation on the installation plan, and also verbally covers any expectations you may have for the cluster. This is a great way to make sure both parties are in agreement to prevent any issues on the day of the actual installation, the final step.

The installation day, again scheduled through the Portal, also has three main parts: configuring the nodes, making sure the cluster is on the most recent code base, and a UI walkthrough including first time configurations for the cluster and a sample VM creation for HC3 customers. Throughout this installation process you will have a live technician filled with knowledge and best practices to walk you through every aspect you will need to know and any questions you may have (if you have chosen the Scale installation team to install the cluster). We truly strive for a “best ever” experience here, which means making sure you also have all the tools you need to manage your new cluster. At the end of the installation, we want you to be as excited about the product as we are, which means arming yourself with knowledge.

We have a database full of application notes, best practices, and solutions, not to mention interactive forums, available on the Customer and Partner Portals to help you in the care and feeding of your cluster. We hope all of these things will add into a great installation, a great experience with what we think is a great product, and the know-how that will steer you into a happy, healthy IT future with the newest addition to your server room family—your Scale HC3 cluster.

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