Poster Display Case Study for Scale HC3



    “For IT departments in our market, HC3 could dominate. Scale is offering a product [HC3] that will stabilize and add insurance to their IT infrastructure and can grow as quickly, or as slowly, as their business grows.” - John Venter, IT Manager

    Manufacturing Success Story: Poster Display


    For more than 70 years, Poster Display Company has been driven by a single, overriding business philosophy: to use state of the art printing technology, company-wide innovation and human ingenuity to help its customers achieve increased sales through superior graphic solutions. With several diverse printers in their environment, the company relies heavily on a stable IT infrastructure to successfully deliver high quality, best-in-class graphics to each customer.


    Prior to virtualizing, the IT environment of the Poster Display Company consisted of a handful of Microsoft Windows-based servers all with direct attached storage. The proposal to virtualize their infrastructure had been made a year prior, but the company struggled to justify the investment given the fact that their infrastructure, while extended well beyond the end of its useful life, was still operating effectively.


    John Venter, IT Manager at Poster Display Company, recalls asking himself the hypothetical question, “What if they fail?” (referring to the servers originally purchased in 2004). The hypothetical event then turned into reality when the motherboard in a critical server running an SQL database failed. “We were barely able to rebuild it. Had we lost all of that data, I would hate to think where we would be right now,” said Venter.

    “The problem with all of the solutions was the price when you coupled it with VMware,” said Venter. “The initial purchase combined with the ongoing management costs were prohibitive given our limited IT budget and resources.”

    “We needed a solution that could provide insurance against failure in order for our business to continue running effectively,” he continued.

    After the critical failure, it was much easier to justify investment in a highly available infrastructure, so the company set out to revisit the earlier proposal of two servers, a Dell SAN and VMware licensing. While this alternative met the requirement for high availability, the costs were still prohibitive. “The cost [of the VMware solution] was even higher with support factored in,” said Venter.


    Poster Display Company was then introduced to Scale Computing’s HC3 – a ‘datacenter-in-a-box’ – integrating servers, storage, and virtualization into a single, highly available, easy-to-use and scalable system. In his initial review, Venter was impressed with the product’s ability to scale to the needs of his IT department at an affordable price. “You can buy what you need now and then easily add on later. It [HC3] helped us eliminate the concern that something won’t be able to grow with us as our business continues to grow,” said Venter.

    With no virtualization software to license, no external storage to buy and the hypervisor already integrated in the system, HC3radically simplifies the infrastructure needed to keep applications running. HC3 makes the deployment and management of a highly available and scalable infrastructure as easy to manage as a single server. “Going to a single dashboard to monitor the environment is something that is going to be very appealing in our market,” said Venter.

    When evaluating the total cost of ownership (TCO), small and midsized businesses implementing virtualization are able to realize greater cost savings when implementing HC3 compared to other solutions. “When you multiply out the years, the VMware option kept diverging from Scale over time,” said Venter.

    Starting at under $25,500 for a 3-node cluster, HC3 is ideal for first-time virtualizers and those that have avoided virtualizing due to the costs and complexities of the implementation and management. “For IT departments in our market, HC3 could dominate. Scale is offering a product [HC3] that will stabilize and add insurance to their IT infrastructure and can grow as quickly or as slowly as their business grows,” he concluded.