No worries about IT infrastructure
World Servants selected a hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) solution based on Scale Computing HyperCore and Lenovo SR630 ThinkSystem servers for its new data center.
World Servants is a Dutch non-profit charity, founded in 1988 by Joop van der Meer. In its early years, World Servants was only active in the Dominican Republic. Today, the organization is active worldwide in fourteen countries.
World Servants organizes around thirty construction projects in developing countries per year: schools, clinics, houses, and clean water facilities. These construction projects are part of programs with local partner organizations and contribute to the lasting improvement of the living conditions of an entire community.
Both the building and the other programs, in which themes such as poverty, practical beliefs, and dealing with cultural differences play a role, take place in close collaboration with the local population. Every year, about 750 young people join a project.
World Servants had an outdated IT infrastructure based on HPE servers, a Dell PowerEdge storage system, and VMware.
The environment no longer met the increasing speed requirements. In addition, the systems did not come back online automatically after a power failure. This is important as World Servants volunteers work in different time zones and need access to different software applications outside typical office hours.
The IT department consists of two volunteers who act as system administrators. The VMware platform expanded and required regular training to “keep up” with the latest versions and patches.
As a non-profit organization, keeping costs is critical. Renewing the IT infrastructure based on VMware was relatively expensive, especially from a management point of view. As a result, that specific knowledge had to be hired externally. This resulted in additional, non-budgeted costs.
For the purchase of the new IT infrastructure environment, World Servants approached two known and one unknown party.
World Servants searched the internet for various solutions and found Scale Computing, a company unknown to World Servants, but which at first glance met the set criteria exactly: affordable and easy to manage, without sacrificing strength.
Almost immediately afterward, Scale Computing provided a demonstration of its infrastructure platform. This confirmed the first impression of World Servants: Scale Computing HyperCore was extremely flexible and easy to manage. The extensive backup and disaster recovery options and integrated server virtualization completed the picture.
More traditional solutions offered by their “known” resellers were more expensive and difficult to implement and manage. Despite being unknown, World Servants quickly chose Sc//HyperCore.
During the conversations with Scale Computing, Wintelligent, a Lenovo Data Center Group partner, was introduced as a potential partner to World Servants.
Wintelligent helped World Servants with the purchase and implementation. Wintelligent also quickly solved the problems World Servants had with their existing switches. It was able to provide good advice and had answers to specific questions World Servants could continue with.
“Wintelligent helped us with the purchase and implementation of the Scale Computing cluster and network components. It was a no-nonsense collaboration with easy lines of communication. Initiated by Wintelligent, Lenovo has also helped us reduce costs as we are a non-profit organization. Initial configuration was done by Scale Computing. After that, we transferred all data and applications to the SC//HyperCore environment in 1.5 days. The overall experience was just good,” reported Henk-Jan Bouwsema, IT Manager, World Servants.
- Since the infrastructure has been replaced by an SC//HyperCore cluster based on Lenovo ThinkSystem SR630 servers, there has simply been no downtime.
- Hardly any time is spent on managing the environment. Compared to the old environment, this makes a significant difference.
- Scale Computing Services and Support provided a great experience. In two years, it was only necessary for World Services to call for help three times. Each time, it dealt almost immediately with someone who knew its business, understood the situation well, and could advise or help with configuration.
- Scheduling VM snapshots is a great advantage and gives the freedom to occasionally perform a little less careful actions because any recovery is done quickly and easily.
The simplicity of the Scale Computing environment leaves us time for a more optimal configuration of our virtual machines. In addition, we need less external knowledge to manage the cluster as it is extremely stable. With an SC//HyperCore environment you get a solution that is easy to use, functions robustly and ensures that you no longer have to focus on the management of the infrastructure itself. In the unlikely event that you need help, a professional team is ready to help you with issues. Scale Computing and SC//HyperCore simply perform above expectations from day one.— Henk-Jan Bouwsema, IT Manager, World Servants