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Category Archives: case studies

Virtualizing eRoom: $1.5M, better SLAs, and “no downside”

I normally prefer to quote regular customers talking about their VMware successes — who needs to hear us quote ourselves about how great we are? But this one is pretty good, with EMC as the customer. (Of course EMC is Not VMware, but they do have a vested interest in us, so use whatever filters you deem fit; there are plenty of other successful VMware customer stories here.) EMC's Chad Sakac points to this latest case study on EMC and their experience virtualizing their Documentum eRoom implementation on VMware.

Virtual Geek: VMware and Documentum eRoom – or how EMC saved $1.5M.

1) the usual CapEx reasons (more important these days than ever!)

"Eliminated additional $1.5 milliion from planned budget expenditures and reigned in ongoing hardware and associated costs"

2) the normal "hey look at all this unexpected operational flexibility upside" reasons

fail-overs have already been handled by VMware – the entire process
only took a few minutes and the eRoom users never noticed a
disruption.   In the past, such a failover would have significantly
impacted users and produced longer down times."

the always fun "wow – performance is good.   WOW – really good!".   
Everyone always is worried about this, almost always incorrectly.  
Higher utilization can also be expressed as higher efficiency, which
for some workloads has an effect of getting MORE on the same hardware
(i.e. in this case we could have more front-ends).

final performance results acheived were significantly greater than
expected.  Users were both pleased and astounded with the increased
performancel eRoom activities such as site access, opening stored
content, and saving files, are now instantaneous.   Response delays
have been eliminated, yet the virtual site configuration is nearly
identical to the original physical hardware configuration."

And the money quote I'll retype for you here, since somebody at EMC decided to password-protect the case study PDF. (Hint, folks, you want people to cut-and-paste from your success stories.)

"We saved the company $1.5 million right off the top, plus cut ongoing costs for floor space, power, depreciation, and labor — and we get all these extra capabilities like easy expansion, smooth and plentiful fail-over, and faster performance. Basically, there was no downside." –Axel Kehlenbeck, project manager

A million and a half here, better SLAs there, and pretty soon you're talking about something worth doing. We won't be talking about eRoom, but we will be talking about virtualizing your enterprise messaging apps this Wednesday at noon PST on our VMware Communities Roundtable podcast.

A Few Lessons Learned for Project Managing VMware Enterprise-wide Virtualization Projects | Virtualization Information

Glenn Astarita gives some frank lessons learned from a recent project, where they were rolling out VDI on top of a roiling set of changes to the environment  — active directory, new app rollouts, new storage, asset inventories, and challenging communication. We’ve all experienced that short sharp shock when plans meet reality on a project. I’m not trying to be discouraging, just to acknowledge that rolling out a powerful infrastructure stack requires careful steps. We recently pointed to this article for some positive tips.

Link: A Few Lessons Learned for Project Managing VMware Enterprise-wide Virtualization Projects | Virtualization Information.

Naturally, all complex projects require dedicated resources.  Yet, large VMware endeavors may warrant the buy-in of IT personnel, spanning Service Desk, Systems Engineering, WAN Engineering, Applications owners, Business Analysts and others, namely because the VMware methodologies touch cross-platform elements within the overall scope of execution.   It’s hard work upfront that makes things go easier at the end.  Nonetheless, these lessons learned and others not cited here, should prove to be a good resource for subsequent VDI projects.  Although the continual evolvement of technologies warrant project- centric adjustments and changes, which is a scenario that remains consistent as the IT industry frequently reinvents itself.

Customer webcast series: optimize your Windows environment with VMware

This upcoming customer webcast series is targeted at folks who administer Windows and are
relatively new to VMware so if you are already a VI expert, feel free
to tell others about this event! Here is the webcast description:

Windows environments are ripe for virtualization. Lack of simple and
effective high availability tools, complex management tools and server
sprawl create a huge management burden for Windows administrators.
VMware Infrastructure offers Windows administrators a better way to run
Windows, delivering improvements in reliability, availability and
manageability for Windows applications.

Learn from your peers the rewards and challenges of running Windows
applications on VMware Infrastructure. During this informative webcast
series, you’ll hear directly from customers how they are using VMware
Infrastructure to consolidate servers, simplify management tasks and
bring high availability and disaster recovery to their mission-critical
Windows applications like SQL, Exchange, or Citrix. You will also have
the opportunity to ask questions so don’t miss this opportunity!

Sign up today!

Tell us your story – win a MacBook Air!

As you start along the road to a virtualize data center — or enter into any enterprise technology project, for that matter — you realize that all the spreadsheets and powerpoint presentations are nothing compared to hearing from somebody who has actually implemented the solution in question. It’s one reason why going to a conference like VMworld or the Virtualization Forums are so powerful.

That kind of sharing and storytelling is powerful — hearing other satisfied users talking about the benefits of VMware virtualization, the rapid return on investment, and even how they all get promotions and raises for being so smart. It also shows that customers trust VMware more than any other virtualization platform, and that they’re willing to say so.

VMware offers a virtualization solution that gives us the reliability, performance and ease of management we need. For us, the most important thing about VMware products is that they are both hardware and operating-system agnostic. VMware lets us support many operating systems on any hardware, maximizing utilization and flexibility.

Christina Schriver
Director of Advanced Engineering, USi, an AT&T Company

We have so many customers who want to spread the word that we’ve recently revamped the whole section of the website where we list our customer stories. You can slice and dice by industry, country, and what they’re using VMware products to do.

To go along with the new section, we’ve also launched a VMware "Tell Us Your Story" contest where you can tell us your story and win a MacBook Air preloaded with VMware Fusion,  the most seamless way to run Windows on your Mac.

While we have lots of stories there, from startups to the Fortune 100, we would like to hear yours, and this time we’re raising the bar. I don’t want to sell server consolidation short, because that’s where many people start, but in 2008 there is so much more you can do with virtualization. That’s why we’re giving away seven (7) shiny featherweight new MacBook Air laptops (with Fusion) to the best stories in the following categories:

  • Running Microsoft Windows on VMware
  • Running Microsoft Exchange on VMware
  • Running SAP Software on VMware
  • Enterprise Desktop Management
  • Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery
  • IT Service Delivery / IT Process Automation
  • Green IT

The contest runs until June 27. See the contest page for rules and more information.

Virtualization is Easy Enough for an 11 Year Old

From Mike D. Link: From the VMware Field: Mike D’s Virtualization Blog: Virtualization is Easy Enough for an 11 Year Old.

This is a story about perhaps our youngest customer to date at
VMware. The story really doesn’t talk much about Jon’s experience with
VMware until the very end but it does show how VMware (and
virtualization in general) can be used in pretty much any environment
by just about anyone with any kind of budget.

I’d like to wish Jon good luck in his future endeavors in the IT world!


As for Jon, he says he loves testing virtualization
software like VMware and wants to obtain “A+ certification” by passing
the computer-technician exam by that name developed by trade group
CompTIA. “Hopefully, I can do that this summer,” he says.


[From NetworkWorld ]

Tell Us Your Story

VMware making you a hero at work? We’d love to hear how VMware products and solutions are changing the way you do business. Please take a minute to tell us your story.

Also, if you work in a small- or medium-sized business, please fill out this survey about where you get your IT information. Virtual infrastructure is not just for the Fortune 100, and you can help us get the word out.

Exchange 2007 users are switching to VMware

Link: Exchange 2007 facing integration issues with other Microsoft software – Network World.

In a nutshell, Exchange 2007 can’t run on Microsoft’s most current virtualization software, Exchange’s management tools won’t run on the just released Vista desktop operating system and the 64-bit messaging server is not compatible with Microsoft’s forthcoming 64-bit server operating system called Longhorn. …

Ironically, users can run Exchange 2007 on the VMWare platform, which does support 64-bit guest systems, and some users are
                        making the switch.

VMware likes to compete by making better products. Case in point.

A tale of two data centers

Dave Hitz, co-founder of Network Appliance, talks about two different data centers in his blog with different needs, one who has had success with VMware server consolidation, and the other who hasn’t virtualized because they are at full utilization and have good capacity management systems.

The first punchline at the end of the article is that, in fact, company #2 does have a lot of server consolidation candidates in their business, just not in their primary business application. The second punchline will come later, when company #2 realizes that VMware is about more than consolidation and provisioning — and in fact VMware is a rich platform for resource management, security, business continuity, lifecycle automation,
and enterprise desktop management.

Follow-up on VMware: Both Better and Worse Than I Described

The first customer—who asked me to describe his company as "a large UK based Telco"—used VMware to consolidate 502 windows systems onto 25 blades. He freed 173 racks worth of space. He cut power by almost 450 KW per month and reduced his power bill by $50,000 per month, not to mention reduced service and support. In all, he expects to clear 345 racks and replace them with 20 racks, with a full return on investment in less than a year.

The other customer explained why VMware won’t help him at all. He runs a large internet site with hundreds of web servers—lots of Linux and Apache. He has a load balancing methodology that lets him saturate his servers. (In his case, the systems are actually memory limited, because they cache the most commonly used data. In other environments, CPU is the limiting factor.) He argues—correctly in my view—that VMware wouldn’t help him consolidate at all, because he has no spare capacity. VMware’s management capabilities could be of some use, but he already solved those problems, so he isn’t looking for any help there.