Steel Summit Holdings is a provider of specialized steel products, including cut-to-length, slitting and stamping for the automotive, electrical, HVAC and industrial industries. As a subsidiary of Sumitomo Corporation of Americas, Steel Summit Holdings prides themselves on service, quality, guaranteed supply and an innovative materials program. The company’s IT department consists of a team of three, supporting 130 users across the U.S.
In the summer of 2016, Steel Summit Holdings was operating their Windows based environment on physical servers. The servers in both of their manufacturing sites were nearing end of life and needed to be replaced. This presented an opportunity to virtualize their environment and enhance their disaster recovery (DR) plan. “Among our goals were a highly available architecture and site-to-site replication. When evaluating solutions, we quickly backed away from VMware-based solutions primarily due to the acquisition and licensing costs.” said David York, IT Manager at Steel Summit Holdings. “Our lack of VMware experience was also a factor. We knew we needed a cost-effective solution that allowed us to focus on managing our virtual servers not the hypervisor.”
Steel Summit Holdings chose Scale Computing Platform, which brings storage, servers, virtualization and management together in a single, comprehensive system. With no virtualization software to license and no external storage to buy, Scale Computing lowers out-of-pocket costs for the company and radically simplify the infrastructure it needs to keep applications running. Scale Computing makes the deployment and management of a highly available and scalable infrastructure as easy to manage as a single server.
“I evaluated both Scale Computing and SimpliVity, but SimpliVity required VMware licensing which was a turnoff. Our cost analysis for installing two clusters, including Windows Server licensing, showed the acquisition cost for Scale Computing was 12% less than SimpliVity and the 5-year TCO showed Scale Computing was 26% less,” continued York. “We did try to compare Scale Computing to a third solution but quickly realized it was not viable due to its cost so we terminated analysis of it and focused on Scale Computing. I’ve been around technology for a long time so I don’t get excited about technology often, but Scale Computing got me excited.”
Steel Summit needed to consolidate their two Windows domains to a new domain. They stood up a test environment on SC//Platform, performed all their testing, then tore down the test environment without impacting the live environment. They then stood up a new, live domain on SC//Platform and executed the consolidation.
“If we did not move to Scale Computing and virtualize our servers, we would not have done the Windows domain consolidation when we did. Many times you get sold on a sales pitch beyond what the company capabilities are. However, SC//Platform is just as advertised. I kept thinking there was going to be a surprise and it was too good to be true. The proverbial ‘other shoe’ never dropped.”
The cost savings with Scale Computing helped Steel Summit move other projects forward. They are planning to build a new corporate office and the conversation about servers is different now. David said, “We simply ask ourselves how many nodes we need. It’s simple and costs are predictable.”