Recently, I had the pleasure of hosting a Scale Computing webinar on IT Operations in Government (full video below), and was fortunate to be joined by two gentlemen who have been hands on in the government space -- with Scale Computing for their IT infrastructure -- for quite some time. They were Chris Iseral, IT director for Madison County, Kentucky, and Brent Ruggles, IT manager for Grafton County, New Hampshire.
Local governments face unique challenges. They typically support a large number of departments and often do so with limited budgets and resources, including a lack of dedicated IT staff. As a result, their IT infrastructures need to be cost-effective, responsive, simple, scalable and must include disaster recovery.
Our goal with the webinar was to host a meeting for folks who face many of the same challenges Chris and Brent have, and to talk specifically about how infrastructure can be brought under control in a manner that anyone can do, and at a price point that make sense for today’s budgets.
Madison County, KY
Madison County has been with Scale Computing since October 2019, and they are in a pretty unique situation. The county is host to a chemical stockpile stored in an Army depot -- one of only two in the entire nation. As a result, they get a lot of federal funding that makes it possible for them to afford some really nice technology and infrastructure. However, that program is nearing its end, and in a few short years, the stockpile will be destroyed and the funding the county enjoys will go away. So it became Chris’s mission to buy technology now that the county will still be able to afford when that happens.
The legacy IT infrastructure Madison County was using was expensive to maintain, complicated to manage, and after 10-15 years, it was aging. With 700 users in 26 different facilities that account for 23 departments and agencies, Chris needed a solution that was highly available and redundant, scalable, easy to use, and affordable.
“We’ve been happier than we’ve ever been,” said Chris. “With Scale Computing’s product, it’s like plug and play. It’s kind of hard to fathom in the IT world that something this good could be this easy, but it is. It’s like plug it in and forget it.”
Chris says he was able to get HC3 installed in about an hour and by his estimation, going with Scale Computing saved the county several hundred thousand dollars. In fact, Madison County’s experience with Scale Computing has been so successful, they were approached by another Kentucky county about hosting its data, which they now do through a Scale Computing node.
Grafton County, NH
Brent considers himself an “early adopter” of Scale Computing, as Grafton County moved to HC3 back in 2015. Like Chris, Brent and his team were running legacy technology but could find no easy migratory path to the next release. He found his old system extremely complicated, with persistent problems. Researching alternatives, Brent noticed Scale Computing’s name kept coming up, so he decided to give it a try, and he hasn’t looked back since. He says he got his first HC3 cluster racked and stacked in under an hour.
Brent says the product has been extremely easy to manage, and also praised its price point, saying it cost under half of what the county would have had to spend to get equivalent equipment from another vendor. Regarding tech support, Brent characterized it as “flawless.”
“I’ve been in IT for 28 years now and it’s one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. These people are truly an extension of your team. Nobody is unapproachable,” said Brent. “They do an excellent job all around. We’re really excited with the choice we made. These guys are the hidden gem out there in an ocean of many vendors. It’s worked out extremely well for us.”
HC3: An Ideal Solution for Local Government
Stories like Chris’s and Brent’s are very common. Scale Computing has been serving the public sector for over a decade, and you will find us all over state and local governments, both in the US and internationally. That’s because the affordability, ease of use and scalability of our hyperconverged solution, the HC3 is able to provide government municipalities an all-in-one, appliance-based system to simplify their IT operations, with disaster recovery included.
Another factor is our approach to virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), which is a bit different. We do VDI in a way that doesn’t require an entire cast of supporting servers and excessive licensing. As a result, the cost is half that of other technologies, and it stands itself up in less than an hour. That’s why tons of folks, from hospitals to cities and counties, have already replaced their legacy VDI implementations with something that’s much more cost-effective without giving up on feature/functionality, and that frees admins up to do things that make a difference.
In addition, the same plumbing that enables VDI allows us to connect people to any kind of desktop in the environment, physical or virtual. That’s why in the past several weeks, we were able to, in a matter of a day or less, get folks up and working from home once they found themselves stuck at their house and no longer able to get back to their desktops.
Another reason governments like HC3 is because without changing or reducing the feature set, we can run on platforms as small as the Intel NUC and as large as Google, from the core data center to the edge. The exact same interface, exact same stack, no matter where or what size the use case. Easy to learn, easy to manage.
Finally, as Chris and Brent both mentioned, we deliver an outstanding support experience. That’s because Scale Computing has never bought into the concept of bronze, silver, and gold support contracts. Rather, We believe in giving everyone 24/7/365 support.
Given all of that, it’s easy to see why HC3 is able to meet the needs of most any city, county, or state government.
Watch the full webinar recording below.