HC3 - Truly a breath of fresh air.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Updated March 29, 2019

HC3 - Truly a breath of fresh air.

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Scale Computing HC3

In a multi-site, highly secure industrial control environment, we needed a solution that would simplify administration, provide test/development cloning capability, N+1 redundancy, and allow for host replication between sites for disaster recovery. Scale's HC3 delivered everything as promised and the solution truly is easy enough for a non-system administrator to manage on a day-to-day basis. Scale is an absolute home run for SCADA/ICS infrastructure, and offers unprecedented flexibility, especially if upgrading from a non-virtualized infrastructure.
  • The world's simplest host and storage administration, period.
  • Built-in site-to-site replication for one-click DR.
  • Excellent performance, easily surpassing the "big guys" -- more cost-conscious hardware solutions get the job done just as well, if not better, than top-tier systems using much more expensive hardware.
  • A support experience that cannot be rivaled. Just open a trouble ticket and see for yourself!
  • At-rest encryption currently requires a 3rd-party product.
  • Would really benefit from a user interface or wizard for creating boot media/migrating common hosts to HC3 (maybe options for physical, Hyper-V, VMWare).
Scale's support simply cannot be beat. No exaggeration: We have not experienced better support anywhere.
Most SCADA vendors are behind the times in terms of utilizing modern infrastructure. If your application runs on common Windows or Linux distributions, you can absolutely run them on HC3. Scale certifies about two dozen operating systems on the HC3 platform, ensuring compatibility and supportability. If the SCADA solution utilizes software replication, there are architectural decisions that should be made regarding how to design for true DR, but the beauty of HC3 is its flexibility -- you can use the built-in software replication, let HC3 replicate guest VMs, or use a combination of those two approaches, like we do.
  • Prior to using HC3, our disaster recovery options were limited to replicating to out-buildings. With HC3 we now also replicate hosts to our other facilities, ensuring continuity should the worst occur.
  • Managing an environment consisting entirely of physical hosts is time-consuming and limiting, since CPU and storage resources cannot be easily adjusted based on needs.
  • Control technicians can perform nearly all system administrator functions, eliminating the need for a dedicated system administrator -- instead, we share our corporate system administrator resources to provide escalation support when needed.
As a long-time HPE shop, we did look at Simplivity (even knowing that HPE's lackadaisical support was likely to poison Simplivity post-acquisition), but we were very underwhelmed by the demonstrator's lack of expertise in the product, and some basic limitations surrounding the offering.
Nutanix was incredibly expensive when comparing apples-to-apples, and did not provide any meaningful advantages over other options.
As a corporate VMWare shop, we also looked at this option, but to achieve our goals, we would need several 3rd party products and full-time administrator training and expertise to adequately manage the environment, making the total cost of ownership prohibitively expensive.
Just like any HCI application, if your storage, compute, and memory needs can be quantified and accurately forecasted, comparing HCI to a traditional infrastructure stack is simple and generally easy to architect. In our case, the HCI solution cost even less than a comparable multi-vendor infrastructure solution, but with added benefits: Single vendor/tested solution, no additional software or management tools needed, and it's the easiest to manage/maintain/secure.

Using Scale Computing HC3

150 - HC3 supports a 4-site industrial / process control system; there are two analysts responsible for the health of the SCADA environment, with about 150 total system users.
2 - These analysts, with no formal system administrator training or experience, simply shadowed the implementer and asked questions as needed. Since go-live, they have been able to manage the environment with no additional support.