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Scale Computing HC3 Review: "Hidden Gem For Education CTOs"
https://www.trustradius.com/hyper-converged-infrastructureScale Computing HC3Unspecified9.6240101
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Updated March 29, 2019

Scale Computing HC3 Review: "Hidden Gem For Education CTOs"

Score 10 out of 101
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Verified User
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Overall Satisfaction with Scale Computing HC3

We initially purchased Scale H3 to shrink our physical footprint on servers and allow for affordable expansion across the entire district. This has allowed us to to lower maintenance costs as well as increase our server count to more evenly disperse services resulting in faster operations. We have also been able to create a reliable and ultra fast disaster recovery plan will little to no data loss.
  • Customer Support - A level of service that all vendors should strive to reach. Their customer service is equally fast and reliable as the product. In the two years of having the HC3, we experienced one hard drive failure. The support team was assisting us within minutes, had the drive replaced in less than 24 hours, and had our node fully functional with no disruption in service nor any data loss.
  • Migration - One of the quickest and easiest among all VM solutions. Older Windows operating systems had compatibility issues, but all servers running Windows Server 2003 and higher migrated within minutes with two simply clicks.
  • Reliability - The HC3 manages to work seamlessly in real-time with no indication from the end user during maintenance, recovery, or making changes to the VMs. In two years, we have had only one hard drive issue and no software issues.
  • Simplicity - The HC3 has the best of both worlds. It's simpler than the free Hyper-V and includes most tools one needs within VMware, yet the installation, operation, and recovery is leaps and bounds easier to manipulate.
  • The only negative is the maintenance support costs. What a dilemma Scale has as they produced a robust and reliable product yet the support costs for a 3 node system is almost $6000. After paying this for 2 years and only having one hard drive failure, I have spent $12,000 on one support ticket and three software updates. It defeats the maintenance cost savings.
One of if not the best support with any vendor I have dealt with in the last 20 years.
Scale allowed us to load balance our services. Rather than have one application server supplying antivirus protection, print services, and windows updates I now have three separate VMs that run more efficient resulting in faster service.
  • If I were to remove the annual support, Scale is a tremendous cost savings to our infrastructure. However, that annual support removes any savings.
We went from physical to Scale. We looked at Hyper-V, but the tools available were lacking and VMware had the tools but not cost effective. Scale was our choice after speaking with several clients in the education setting.
I believe Scale is a solution for small to mid organizations who need VM solutions above the free realm but not the large scale solutions that are not feasible nor utilized to their full potential. Scale is perfect specifically for education as it addresses all of our needs in tools, disaster recovery, reliability, and cost.

Using Scale Computing HC3

23 - Three are support technicians. The remainder are my Microsoft certification students who I teach not only Microsoft client/server and networking, but VM benefits using the H3 as well. Students create VMs, design and implement disaster recovery plans, and utilize VMs as test environments.
The two of the three support technicians have a basic understanding of virtual environments and a standard level of troubleshooting. Scale has made the interface and operation user-friendly and simple that I could easily show non technical users with limited technical ability.
  • Disaster recovery is noninvasive, simple, and accurate. It is a large part of our disaster recovery plan in the event of an incident.
  • Smaller physical footprint allows for possible maintenance cost savings.
  • The simplicity, reliability, and speed allow for us to startup and test new services in a fraction of the time. It's a perfect tool for advanced technical courses with students which allow for them to experience multiple operating systems with no additional costs.
  • Endless ideas of services.
  • Robust testing of disaster scenarios.
  • Integration into advanced technical courses.
I'm on the fence about renewing the support contract. The reliability of the HC3 makes it difficult to spend the cost of the renewal which is higher than the costs prior to Scale. I'm convinced if we were a larger district that the savings would be tremendous and I wouldn't hesitate to renew. In our specific situation, it may be more feasible to pay per incident.

Evaluating Scale Computing HC3 and Competitors

  • Product Usability
  • Product Reputation
  • Third-party Reviews
A couple of respected colleagues at other school districts suggested the product. It is everything they claimed.
I would not change anything. The best finds are based on word of mouth and product/company reputation.

Scale Computing HC3 Implementation

Purchasing the migration service or tool if one has older systems, a large number of servers, or coming from another VM solution would be a great advantage.
Change management was minimal - Change management was a non issue.
  • We had an older Windows Server that had extensive compatibility issues.

Scale Computing HC3 Training

I did not do in-person training.
Because Scale is so simple, the training is just as quick and easy.

Configuring Scale Computing HC3

I think it has found the sweet spot for small to mid-sized organizations.
Because I was new to virtual environments and this was my first product, I relied on the help of Scale to help me build those skills.
No - we have not done any customization to the interface
No - we have not done any custom code

Scale Computing HC3 Support

ProsCons
Quick Resolution
Good followup
Knowledgeable team
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
No escalation required
Immediate help available
Support understands my problem
Support cares about my success
Quick Initial Response
None
I have only dealt with Scale support once. One of the hard drives failed. I was pleasantly surprised that support answered my call quickly, troubleshooting commenced instantly, and a replacement drive was sent within 24 hours. After installing, I sent an email to the technician notifying which was responded to lightning fast. He remoted into the system and tested to ensure everything was back to functioning order. He surprisingly followed up a week later to ensure everything was still in working order.

Using Scale Computing HC3

Outstanding product that lives up to all of its claims.
ProsCons
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Well integrated
Consistent
Quick to learn
Convenient
Feel confident using
Familiar
None
  • Uploading media and mounting within VMs.
  • Backup and recovery.
  • Creation of VMs are simple and lightning fast.
  • Only when migrating older version of Windows Server. Compatibility issues tend to take time.

Scale Computing HC3 Reliability

HC3 is one of the best products I have purchased for our district. It is unbelievably reliable to the point that they shoot themselves in the foot on support contracts.
Never had an outage or an error. Once a hard drive failed, but Scale kept on working flawlessly without interruption.
Performance has been just as outstanding as reliability. I have never experienced delays in any aspect of usage.

Relationship with Scale Computing

No issues. Scale demonstrated the product and provided a third-party vendor the pricing promptly for purchase. Turn around on receiving product was timely considering the systems are built to order.
No negotiated was needed since they started with a great discount and included support and training.

Upgrading Scale Computing HC3

Yes - No downtime, upgrades go quickly, and never had a failed upgrade.
  • Role-based access controls.