Partners at the Edge: Regional MSP Supercharges their Infrastructure with Scale HC3


Founded in 1997, KT Connections is a provider of quality managed IT services to small-to-midsize businesses in Rapid City, South Dakota, and surrounding areas. These days, KT Connections offers small-to-midsize businesses a wide array of managed IT services and solutions, including general managed services, backup and disaster recovery, network security, and cloud services and is also a Scale Computing certified reseller. 

The founders of KT Connections have long understood the critical role that technology plays in the business world and pride themselves on providing enterprise-level IT consulting services with a superior level of professionalism, knowledge, and trust. As the CIO/Partner for KT Connections, Rodd Ahrenstorff is always on the lookout for the latest technologies that can simplify the delivery of services to its customers. 

An early and eager adopter of emerging technology, Rodd notes that he’s “been using virtualization since 1999 when VMware came out with their desktop product. However, the complexity of virtualization has grown over the years, especially as you integrate storage and networking and hyperconverged infrastructure from multiple vendors and then have to support all of those  vendors. Given that our primary target is small to medium sized businesses this adds unnecessary costs. I had been tracking Scale Computing over the years and it just looked more and more attractive as a solution for our customer base.”

As both a managed services provider and a technology reseller, Rodd appreciates the flexibility and ease of use of Scale’s HC3 feature set saying that, “for a lot of customers we manage their infrastructure and serve as their trusted advisor so they may not get into the details of it. But for the resale aspect where we provide a simple sale to the customer, the feedback has been great. The HTML-5 browser interface is easy to navigate and while it may not be as overwhelming with features as VMware, it also makes it a lot easier to use which is one of the main talking points we bring up during the pre-sales and engineering stages. Customers have really enjoyed the high availability features of a Scale Computing cluster which is so much easier to implement than what you’ve got to do with all those different settings in VMware and vCenter—it’s pretty much automated with Scale Computing.”

As a provider of managed infrastructure services to more than 350 local businesses, KT Connections also needs to provide rock solid assurance to its customers that in the event of a disruption or disaster, that they will be able to quickly bring their infrastructure back online. Rodd told us that this was especially true when managing customers with multiple sites, saying that “the ability to have a second node, maybe of a larger size but with less compute resources, well that’s been awesome because delivering that capability has been neither easy or cost-effective with other vendors that we’ve worked with in the past”

Rodd has been equally impressed by how easy the HC3 platform has been to support, saying that “it can be rather burdensome for a small team when you have multiple vendors supporting a hyperconverged platform—you have to get certified on each platform and you incur more cost when you have to send engineers out in the field to provide support. With Scale it’s so much easier for my guys as you don’t need to have an L3 level engineer with a VCP certification to manage a Scale cluster.”

From a business perspective, Rodd has to think as much about the dollars and cents as he does the bits and bytes. “In the small to medium sized business market it was hard to come up with a hyperconverged platform that fit the cost model for our customer. There are not that many vendors targeting the small to midsize businesses that also scale up if necessary to mid enterprise like Scale does. By providing an affordable, highly available solution with built in disaster recovery capabilities—and to do so at a price point  at which we’re still making decent margins—has been a total game changer.” 

However, the area where Rodd really believes Scale truly shines is the dedicated team of experts that are always just a click or phone call away. “Honestly, the support model that Scale has in place goes above and beyond any vendor that I’ve ever dealt with in nearly 30 years of IT work, and I mean that. To be able to start an instant chat message online, do a remote support call later on, and have Scale Computing upgrade your cluster as part of your support contract—no one else does that. It’s been phenomenal. I think the support model you have from the technical side differentiates Scale from any other hyperconverged platform out there.”

If you’re interested in learning more about how KT Connections delivers business value that makes an impact for customers with Scale Computing, check out Rodd’s in-depth review at TrustRadius.

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