We wanted to showcase another ESXi customer story.
Fulton Financial Corporation, a leading financial services organization, is currently running their entire virtual footprint on VMware ESXi, which includes 200 virtual machines running on 55 HP ProLiant BL465 blade servers. Fulton made the switch from VMware ESX to ESXi when they decided to upgrade to VMware vSphere 4. ESXi was a more attractive architecture to them due to its increased security, lower patching requirements, and ability to run on diskless servers.
“ESXi is architected so that it does not require local drives and is small enough to fit on a USB,” says Scott Armold, Engineering Manager at Fulton Financial Corporation. “We boot our ESXi images from USB keys and have gotten rid of our hard drives all together. The fact that the ESXi architecture does not include a traditional OS increases security—a paramount concern at Fulton and other financial institutions. “We like the idea of getting away from installing an OS,” says Armold. “Since ESXi doesn’t have one, that means it’s a safer hypervisor–more of a black box.”
Another significant benefit from the move from ESX to ESXi is the need for far fewer patches. “We were up to about 125 patches per quarter with ESX,” Armold reports. “Now that we’re running ESXi, I guess we do about three patches per quarter. So that’s made a huge difference for us.”
Armold’s team used the PowerCLI to automate their initial ESXi deployment. It took Armold and his team a week and a half to get their Windows PowerShell scripts written and tested for the migration. “We used the PowerCLI to write PowerShell scripts to automate our ESXi host configuration. It was easy to use and took us less than a week to write and test the script. We highly recommend it to other administrators looking to automate some aspects of their ESXi deployment.”