Virtualization Pro

Oct 30 2008   1:11PM GMT

VMware adds another Windows user to its customer list

Bridget Botelho Profile: Bridget Botelho

VMware, Inc. announced last week that another Windows customer is using VMware Infrastructure 3 (VI3) instead of Microsoft Hyper-V to consolidate servers and reduce costs.

Independence Blue Cross (IBC), the largest health insurer in Philadelphia, has grown quickly in recent years, and their  computing demands and costs have grown along with its business. Physical server sprawl and increasing power consumption has plagued the hospital and the cost of acquiring and managing new hardware was growing out of control, VMware reported.

To reverse these issues, IBC turned to virtualization. The company looked at Microsoft Hyper-V, but ultimately chose VMware because “it offered a more complete solution and robust tool set, rather than simply a hypervisor,” VMware’s spokesperson said on behalf of the customer. Another plus for VMware was that is offers VMotion to live migrate virtual machines (VM), which Micrsoft’s Hyper-V product won’t offer until the next version, as well as high availabilityresource pooling, manageability and automation, VMware said.

So far, IBC’s Windows application environment is approximately 70% virtualized, including applications like Active Directory, Exchange, SharePoint and SQL Server, PeopleSoft and Oracle 9i. There are 386 VMs are running on 48 physical hosts, and CPU utilization has increased from 5% to 75%, VMware reported.

Michael Garber, director of distributed infrastructure, at IBC, stated in the release that VI3 paid for itself in less than 16 months and helped IBC avoid more than $1 million in hardware costs.

VMware currently has over 3,000 hospitals on its list of customers, according to VMware.

VMware release lots of customer case studies to show the world how great they are, but when they announce Windows users as customers, Microsoft Hyper-V takes a bullet.  Hyper-V is built right in to Windows Server 2008, so why wouldn’t a Windows user just virtualize with Hyper-V? That’s Microsoft’s argument, and it looks like people aren’t buying it.

There is a ton of speculation on whether Hyper-V will be able to surpass VMware in the virtualization market, but I haven’t seen anything from Microsoft (like Hyper-V customers!) signaling that possibility.

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