Scale Computing HC3 Review

Good stability with a straightforward setup, but scaling is difficult

What is our primary use case?

We were running Dynamics AX, so my environment had 12 VMs. We had one or two 2012 Windows servers and I had two 2012 SQL servers, and an R2 as well.

What is most valuable?

The initial setup is pretty straightforward.

The stability is very good.

What needs improvement?

I've had so many issues with support. 

I've had so many issues with the sales team when I was looking to make some improvements, and improve the performance. They would create so many excuses to force me to buy new nodes all the time and not let me add more memory to each node. 

For example, we would have three cluster nodes, and I was trying to figure out a way to have one more terabytes of space. Instead of letting me do some sort of higher performance, I ended up buying another three nodes, and after I bought those three nodes, then I was stuck with the six nodes, and I migrated everything to the new nodes, and after all that, they did not let me upgrade the hard drives.

The sales department told me "you can just add another cluster. We'll move everything to the other clusters, then you can replace the hard drives." When I did everything, then they came back and they said, "Oh, no. It was a mistake. We did not authorize this. You have to change the hard drives."

It would be great if we had the ability to attach external sends and use another vendor send. We should not just have to buy scale nodes. On top of that, we need the capability to do full back up and exports to those external stores.

The backup solution is sub-par. They make you back up inside the cluster. I would like to have a backup in another environment and scale with the other HCI solution. They just want you to do backups between their environments, which makes no sense nowadays, when we have everything going to the cloud. I don't need to back it up inside the cluster.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for three and a half years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is very good. I have no complaints there. There aren't bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is pretty scalable so long as you are willing to buy new equipment every time. It can get expensive and frustrating. The biggest gap for scaling is not letting you use external sends. That is the biggest gap. If they don't let you do that, you will always need to buy expensive nodes. They don't sell the nodes for a cheap price.

In the company, in general, we have about under 100 users. There are around 3,000 employees at the company overall. Everybody has been pulling data from our server. I know our manager loves to scale, so we need something that can scale when we need it to.

How are customer service and technical support?

We had issues with sales support. They told us how to do something one way, then told us something else once we bought the technology. I don't trust them. I'm completely unhappy with their level of service.

In terms of technical support, I've had the opportunity to work with a couple of technicians that were really good and that really know HC3. That said, I sometimes called the help desk, and I got people that really don't know anything about the solution or about Linux (which the solution runs through). Overall, I'd rate the solution six and a half out of ten. The support really isn't balanced. It can be great or awful.

How was the initial setup?

I've been in IT for 20 years. Therefore, for me, the initial setup wasn't too complex. It was pretty straightforward. I can't speak to how easy it would be for everybody, however.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

If you need to scale, you need to buy more nodes, and those are not cheap at all. They are very expensive.

What other advice do I have?

We're just customers. We don't have a business relationship with the client.

I'm not sure which version of the solution we use, however, it has been fully updated.

All our servers were co-hosted in another location, and I decided to bring everything on-premise due to our need to have the best performance.

They need to change that mentality that they just want to sell the box. It is what it is, that they don't allow us to do upgrades. I think this mentality is like an Apple mentality where you have to buy whatever you want at the beginning and you cannot change, and nowadays, everything is so interchangeable. We need to be able to adapt it to whatever we need. That said, this product and its salespeople are not flexible.

I'd advise others to make sure you buy as fast and as big as possible at the beginning. You won't have many opportunities to do upgrades in the box that you have. For example, if you need 64 GIGs of RAM, buy 128 - at least double. Don't get it back to the wall where you don't have an option to increase.

I would rate the solution seven out of ten. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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