Our Move to Hyperconvergence, Part 3: It. Is. Alive.
Computing offers a premium installation service to assist you through every step of installing and activating a Scale cluster. It’s a well organized series of calls and (when needed) remote sessions organized to pace you through the milestones of a successful implementation. It’s an excellent value and in hindsight, worth every penny. You’ll do this once or twice - they do it every day. The extra set of eyes ‘looking over your shoulder’ is peace of mind to know that everything about your new infrastructure is optimal. We’ve been working with the same tech throughout the process, which I assume is intentional. Josh is knowledgeable, unflappable, and clearly wants us to have the same confidence in the product that he has.
Are we there yet?
Our implementation calls for a functioning HCI cluster in both offices. Each cluster will support the local office while also serving as the replication target for the other office. We spent about 2 hours at each location while we unboxed, documented, racked, and cabled 3 nodes. It could certainly be done faster, but this is a new platform and we are treating it like a moon launch.
The process of bringing up a Scale Computing cluster requires running a single script on each node. The script prompts you for LAN and backplane IP info and then initializes the node. One final command merges the nodes into the new cluster. The whole process took less than 20 minutes at each office to complete.
During the pre-sales process we gained an understanding of the complexity and technical sophistication that Scale provides under the hood. Thankfully, none of this is evident during the installation process. No .ini files to edit, no patches to install, no permission issues to resolve. We answered a few prompts and we were up and running. If you are inclined to be a technological tinkerer, always tweaking and adjusting things just because you can, then the HCI solution from Scale Computing might not be for you. If, like me, you also have other things to do and you hope that we have moved beyond the days of endless driver issues and long hours on the phone trying to get new stuff to work, you will appreciate the straightforward experience Scale provides.
We’ve completed basic training on the Scale management interface and understand that a more detailed review is coming. Now that we have enough knowledge to be dangerous, we’ve loaded media for future VM builds and created a few test VMs. In the next exciting installment of Scale Computing’s Premium Installation Service, we cover the conversion / migration process for existing VMs.
Check out the previous post in this series:
Our Move to Hyperconvergence - Part 1