Goodwill Central Coast Deploys Edge Solution Across 18 Locations

Selects Scale Computing over HP and Nutanix.



Background and IT Challenges Across Distributed Locations

Goodwill Central Coast (GCC) covers three counties in Southern California which include Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Luis Obispo. GCC's mission is to provide employment for individuals who face barriers to employment, such as homelessness, military service, single parenting, incarceration, addiction, and job displacement. To fund its mission, GCC is also a retail organization, which provides job training and funds programs to assist individuals in reclaiming their financial and personal independence.

With a small IT staff of just three people and 18 locations to service, GCC was in need of a virtual hyper-converged infrastructure solution capable of managing the region's file systems at the edge and databases out of a central database in Salinas. Without the resources available to provide on-site services for each location, GCC wanted an edge computing solution that required little or no management for its remote regional servers.


Challenges

  • With 18 locations across three counties in Southern California, GCC needed an affordable virtual hyper-converged infrastructure solution capable of managing the region's file systems and databases out of a central database in Salinas.

  • GCC has a small IT staff of three people, and without the resources available to provide on-site services for each location, they wanted an edge solution that required less management for remote servers.

  • GCC needed to replace an outdated legacy virtualization system with an affordable solution capable of maximizing uptime.


Selection and Implementation


GCC was using an outdated legacy virtualization system that required physical reboots every other month. The IT staff at GCC began exploring solutions to upgrade from their cumbersome legacy solutions in 2018. The nonprofit was looking to save management time by replacing their IT infrastructure with a virtual server system capable of simply and efficiently managing remote servers. Kevin Waddy, IT Director, GCC was also interested in looking for a hyper-converged system for its ability to migrate from physical servers to virtual.

After learning of Scale Computing and researching other hyper-convergence providers, including HP and Nutanix, Waddy turned to Scale Computing for its affordability, dependability, and simplicity. "The training and support during the migration were comprehensive and I've had zero issues with the system in the six months I've had it in place. The solution is a single pane of glass that's easy to manage, and it has saved us so much time on projects," recalls Waddy.

HC3 was deployed and implemented quickly on 24 virtual servers across 18 locations in the region, in one day with no downtime and no surprises. GCC has a solution that requires less management and support, resulting in increased uptime.


"I migrated 24 file servers to the new Scale Computing solution during the day with little to no downtime, spending only 20 minutes on some servers," said Kevin Waddy, IT Director, Goodwill Central Coast.

Results


Since its implementation of Scale Computing HC3, GCC has upgraded its point of sale system, increased drive space, saved resources, and saved 15% on the initial IT budget. With Scale Computing HC3, GCC now has a modern IT infrastructure that is high-performing, reliable, and efficient.

GCC's lean staff needed to solve the challenge of managing a server system efficiently and remotely for all 18 stores dispersed across the wide region. "The main challenge we face is our geography. It's just myself and two technicians who handle the three counties in our area, so we needed support and with 24 servers requiring physical reboots, we also needed a hyper-converged virtual system," Waddy said. "Before we chose Scale Computing, my choices were to build physical servers or spend time on the legacy system to build some servers. All hyper-converged systems have the ability to migrate from physical servers to virtual, but the process Scale Computing uses is a quick proposition."


After selecting Scale Computing, GCC solved their geographical issue and found a solution capable of being deployed quickly, managed locally and remotely, and providing self-healing technology that reduces the overall amount of time spent on IT projects. "With Scale Computing HC3, the time it takes to spin up a server is minutes compared to hours. I'm using the system to spin up some lab servers for a project and now, I can spin up a lab with five servers in 30 minutes," Waddy said. "Our server restores are quick, lasting only around 15 minutes. We're now able to increase drive space and resources on the fly compared to our legacy infrastructure."


Business Benefits Realized

  • GCC now has a simplified IT infrastructure that is built on an edge computing strategy with easy remote management, connectivity, and reliability.

  • GCC now has the ability to scale services across its distributed locations without the need for local IT staff.

  • Since implementation, GCC has upgraded its point of sale system, increased drive space, saved resources, and saved 15% on the initial IT budget.

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