Classic Hotels provides guests with a hotel brand that blends the consistent quality of a premiere chain hotel with the design and service elements of a boutique hotel. With company headquarters based in Phoenix, Classic Hotels offers six luxury properties in Arizona and California for business and leisure travelers alike.
Classic Hotels has big requirements when it comes to IT infrastructure systems. With an IT team of five responsible for managing the organization’s infrastructure across all properties, they must ensure that business operations are always available.
Jose Solis, senior network engineer, joined Classic Hotels four years ago with a remit to strengthen the organization’s IT infrastructure systems. They were using a legacy virtualization system, and wanted to implement something simpler and easier to maintain while increasing their reliability and availability. Solis researched hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) solutions to see if they could meet their requirements.
“While we found HCI compelling, when we talked to some vendors we were worried it was not the right fit for us - many of the solutions were too complex and too expensive. As part of my research I found Scale Computing and it had so many positive customer reviews, we knew we had to learn more about them. When we spent some time with the Scale Computing system we decided to move forward with the project,” said Solis. “Once we spun up the first few machines we started noticing huge gains in performance,” Solis added.
Solis and team decided to standardize Classic Hotels IT operations on the Scale Computing HC3 platform. They were surprised and pleased by how easy implementation was - from unpacking, mounting, and deploying, each site was up and running in less than two hours.
Classic Hotel now runs approximately 85 VMs, mostly Microsoft Windows workloads, on their Scale Computing IT infrastructure platform. The new system gives them major improvements for their data protection strategy. Now they can recover data in a few minutes, whereas the prior system could take days to recover valuable data.
Cybersecurity and Ransomware Protection
A constant threat for Solis’ team, and many other IT leaders, is the always present threat of a ransomware attack. In the hospitality industry, an attack threatens both the business operations and also the privacy of their customers.
The most recent ransomware threat they faced was in early 2020, and before that three years prior. Scale Computing was partly implemented when Classic Hotels was hit with the 2020 ransomware attack. The data on HC3 was simple to retrieve, and those workloads were back up and running quickly. In contrast, the traditional backups they had to retrieve and get back into production took anywhere from a few hours to a few days to restore. Solis commented, “Obviously now that we have fully implemented HC3 we see the advantage and it gives us peace of mind that we can recover in any situation.”
One of the biggest benefits Solis has found with Scale Computing is that he no longer has to be worried about the management and maintenance of Classic Hotel’s IT infrastructure. After being hospitalized for a week earlier this year, Solis was able to recover and relax thanks to the reliability and simplicity of Scale Computing HC3.
“I never before felt confident that I could really take time off. It's good to feel needed but it's difficult when you have to always be available. For the first time I did not have to jump on the computer. If something needed to be done I could count on my team to manage, because of the simplicity of the HC3,” Solis said.
All IT team members are able to manage the day-to-day operations of the infrastructure, without costly training, in contrast to the legacy virtualization system that only Solis could manage.
Costs are now 40-50% less than with the legacy virtualization system.
Data recovery now takes minutes, when before it took days.
“The system is so simple to manage, Scale Computing is just the right way of doing IT,” said Solis.