Scale HC3 Casestudy Families Inc


    “HC3 is a huge advantage from the standpoint of managing your infrastructure. Instead of a separate interface for every layer in the environment, you are condensing it to a single tool.” Greg Starnes, Network Coordinator

    Jonesboro, AR. IT Staff of two.

    Solution: 4 Node, 128GB RAM, 4x Quad Core Intel CPUs, 16 SAS Drives, 8x GigE

    Healthcare Success Story: Families, Inc.


    Founded in 2000, Families, Inc. Counseling Services is one of the leading group counseling practices in Arkansas, and home to a team of highly respected mental health professionals. The company relies on their IT infrastructure, which includes a hosted Electronic Medical Records system in addition to their in-house environment. As with others in the healthcare industry, Families, Inc. is subject to HIPAA compliance.


    Families, Inc. was in the midst of an infrastructure refresh to support a much-needed upgrade to their in-house email application for HIPAA compliance reasons, among others. Understanding the benefits of virtualization, the IT department was considering a hosted solution, as well as a do-it-yourself virtualization deployment with VMware, EMC’s VNXe and a handful of host servers.


    With a small IT department consisting of one full-time and one part-time employee to support a company of 350 employees, Families, Inc. was drawn to a hosted solution for their virtualization infrastructure, but keeping the solution in-house gave Families the control needed to ensure the security and encryption necessary for HIPAA compliance. In addition, the cost of this approach proved to outweigh the benefit of having the IT infrastructure offsite when analyzed from a total cost of ownership perspective. “With the size of our company, we were right at the bubble where you would be paying way more for a hosted solution than to bring it in-house,” recalled Greg Starnes, Network Coordinator for Families, Inc.

    As an alternative, Families also considered a do-it-yourself virtualization deployment that combined VMware, servers and EMC’s VNXe as shared storage. While the pricing was more affordable than the hosted solution, the complexity of managing such a solution made it an unrealistic alternative for Families to implement. “Growth in a VMware environment would be hard to manage. We continue to grow every time we turn around – 20 to 40 new staff each year. We had to have a solution that was able to scale without adding complexity,” said Starnes.


    Families was introduced to Scale Computing’s HC3, a ‘datacenter-in-a-box’ that seamlessly integrates servers, storage and virtualization in one easy-to-use system. With no virtualization software to license, no external storage to buy and the hypervisor already integrated, HC3 radically 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.

    “HC3 is a huge advantage from the standpoint of managing your infrastructure. Instead of a separate interface for every layer in the environment, you are condensing it into a single tool,” said Starnes. HC3 was built with the availability of a virtualized server and SAN, the scalability of a clustered infrastructure and the simplicity of a single server.

    “For small IT shops, the less components you have to worry about, the easier it is to handle,” Starnes continued. “If we need to add more memory, or processing power or more storage, we can just drop in another node.”

    Small and midsized businesses implementing virtualization are able to realize greater cost savings when implementing HC3compared to other solutions. “The total cost of ownership when you include the ongoing management is considerably less compared to the other options we considered,“ said Starnes. Starting at under $25,500, HC3 is ideal for first-time virtualizers and those that have avoided virtualizing due to the costs and complexities of the implementation and management.