Scale Computing HC3 - You won't Be Sorry
January 30, 2018

Scale Computing HC3 - You won't Be Sorry

Rob Blackburn | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Scale Computing HC3

Our servers, physical and VMware VMs, have all been migrated to Scale HC3. Our engineering, assembly and machining departments depend on our Scale system for access to their 3D data. Our self-developed ERP system and in-house Wiki both exist in our Scale environment as well. Additionally, our software and training departments request VMs to be created to aid in development and testing of our applications.
  • Scale provides a solid worry free VM environment for any SMB. We were looking to upgrade our VMware environment and found it quite daunting trying to piece together all the components necessary for a vm environment as well as the inevitable support contracts that would be scattered across different vendors. Scale combines everything you need into one turnkey solution. One appliance, one vendor, one support contract.
  • Companies with a limited IT staff or who would rather free their staff from the administration concerns of a typical vm environment will benefit greatly from a Scale HC3. It truly is plug and play. Even the system updates are automated, moving vms around the nodes in realtime while each node updates with no disruption to the VMs.
  • Built in High Availability, built in Load Balancing. Storage, Servers, VM os.. it's all self contained.
  • Working with the VMs (creating, deleting, cloning) is easier on an HC3 than on anything else I have seen.
  • I would like to have some access to the host system itself but I can see why it is locked away from the user. One of the main selling points of the system is it's hands free reliability. End users mucking things up would work against that.
  • I would like to see a bit more robust back up system to have a truly 100% self sustained VM environment. The system allows you to create snapshots very easily, both manual and scheduled. But it would be nice to be able to set up a backup/restore with deduplication to external locations.
If you do need support for anything they are right there to answer the phone. You don't have to leave a message and wait for a call back or sit on hold in a queue waiting for someone. We are very pleased with the level of support we have received.
Our engineering data needs to be available to our machinists, cnc programmers, and assemblers as well as our engineers. We run Autodesk Vault on a Windows Server vm on our HC3 and we have no issues with access to the data.
We also run a complete ERP system of our own design and development. This system handles everything from employee clock in/out to inventory to scheduling, to accounting, to HR. It is the lifeblood of our company and it runs on a dedicated vm in our HC3 system. An internet facing version of this ERP system also running in our HC3 is being set up for demo'ing to potential customers.
We also run various other systems unique to different departments (an inhouse wiki, jira issue tracking, customer support, software R&D)
  • Our HC3 system has completely freed us from the daily requirements of basically babysitting our previous VM system. Where I had to check in daily to see what service or function was having a problem in our previous system I do not even have to log in to the HC3 unless it's to use the console functionality to access a vm that needs attention. When it was brand new I would log in daily at first but after finding everything purring along the same day after day I do not bother any more. :)
  • There was always the worry of a server or storage device dying with our previous system. We also had to watch our different updates so we didn't update ourselves out of support because of our hardware falling off of the HCLs. With our HC3 we have no worry at all. If any component of a node(memory, storage, motherboard, nics, power supply, etc) dies, the system carries on using the other nodes with no downtime. Then we just need to unplug the bad node and plug in the replacement and the system goes back to normal. (We have not had to do this so I have no realtime experience with just how painless this would be but I would be surprised if it was any harder than installing it in the rack, connecting the cables, and pushing the power button.)
We chose Scale primarily because it was a completely self contained system. That meant one vendor and one support contract. Researching the different hardware components required for a vm system and multiple vendors of each component quickly got old. And thinking ahead toward maintaining such a system we did not want to deal with the headache of tracking down which component was causing us trouble and then having to prove that to the vendors.
We switched to Scale from a VMware environment and we couldn't be happier. Servers, Storage and Host OS are all combined into one self-contained system. If you are looking for a hands-off completely worry free VM environment I highly recommend Scale Computing. If you like to tinker and tweak your VM environment though you might not be happy with this because outside of the VMs themselves the system is 100% hands-off. You can create, remove, and clone VMs. You can configure their virtual hardware (number of nics, number and size of drives, etc.) You can import and export VMs as well as create snapshots manually or scheduled.

As far as the host system though, it just works. High availability is built in. Load balancing is built in. You can manually move VMs around if you wish but there is no need to. System updates are completely painless. You click to apply the update and the HC3 moves the VMs around to apply the updates to each node one at a time with no downtime or interruptions to the guest VMs. If a node does go down (which has not happened to us yet) you just replace the node and you're done.