One of the problems that a lot of customers and talk to us about is that they know they need to virtualise, they have a load of old servers on their last legs but have put budgets forward for a server refresh going from physical servers with direct attached storage to virtual ones with a Storage Area Network (SAN) appliance, that are simply too expensive for the current economic times.
We work with the big named stuff, the Dell Equalogic, Dell Compellant, Nexenta, NetApp and much more, we’re also resellers of Citrix, VMware and Microsoft HyperV. When it comes to storage and hypervisor, we ultimately take our direction on customer preference, but when it all comes down to it cost is usually the biggest consideration…
As per my previous blog article on the Scale Computing HC3 appliance, this has been a difficult sell. What you’re selling us storage, but you can virtualise on it? Took me a while also to get over that. I then started asking, what’s the hypervisor thinking at the time that VMware and HyperV were pretty much the only two.
The Scale Computing HC3 is a preconfigured server for the want of the better term, it has a proprietary operating system that Scale have developed in conjunction with their licensed IBM technology for the file system, which gives lightning performance. It is essentially their older storage product but with a new operating system that allows a built-in hypervisor (KVM, the Linux one) to be run on the storage nodes. Scale being Scale, you must have a minimum of three nodes to start a cluster, to give you enough compute, storage and memory availability to start a virtualised system. The three nodes are linked by a decent network switch.
Unlike our other vendors, Scale Computing have a one system solution. There is no need to go and buy System Centre or vCenter to control your virtual machines in the event of a disaster, it comes as part of your costs, a backup solution is also being worked upon over and above of what they currently have, and there is also no need to buy separate servers and storage.
The beauty is you have a single solution to do something that nobody else is currently doing. There’s only one type of hardware, one control panel and only one thing to learn. The scalability of the Scale system means it’s easily expanded and should a node fail then there is always enough tolerance to keep the system running.
Plus of course, you’re not paying for extra hardware costs, more boxes than what you need and software to tie everything together that sits on disparate boxes. Going back to the original problem our customers face, they can ultimately continue with their virtualisation project for a much lower cost. What we’ve found is that Scale Computing’s HC3 appliance can get such projects back on track.
Back in the days before someone decided to combine shampoo and conditioner it must have been difficult to imagine a product that could do both and that is pretty much what Scale Computing have done with the HC3 system.
If you’re interested in hearing more about the Scale Computing HC3 appliance and why it is so different then as one of Scale Computing’s UK partners we’d love you speak to you and arrange an online demonstration.