Virtualization Pro

Oct 29 2008   8:28PM GMT

VMware virtualizes Nationwide Services’ Windows environment

Bridget Botelho Profile: Bridget Botelho

Palo Alto, Calif.-based VMware, Inc. announced that Nationwide Services Co., which provides shared services to the Nationwide family of companies, has deployed VMware Infrastructure 3, to consolidate Nationwide’s Windows-based server environment and undo physical server sprawl.

Nationwide Services Co., a unit of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, initially deployed VMware Infrastructure to reverse the effects of server sprawl and lower power consumption. Using a mixture of VMware and zLinux virtualization software that are complementary to each other, Nationwide reduced over 700 physical hosts.

So far, Nationwide has achieved a virtual-to-physical consolidation ratio of 13:1 and virtualization has helped Nationwide increase server utilization from an average of 15 percent to 70 percent.

Nationwide started its consolidation project with over 5000 HP servers, mostly DL385 and DL585 servers in 2004, and are now down to around 3,300 physical servers with over 1,200 virtual servers, said Scott Miggo, vice president of infrastructure engineering at Nationwide Services Co. 

Nationwide has not upgraded to Windows Server 2008, which has Microsoft’s hypervisor Hyper-V built in, and Miggos said he has no immediate plans to move there. 

“We may look at Hyper-V in the future when it is more tested and mature, but for know we feel VMware is more mature and my staff is fully trained on Vmware,” Miggos said. “Since we have been using VMware for over 4 years with good success, no major issues and an enterprise licensing agreement with VMware that help hold down our costs, we feel very comfortable staying with Vmware for the near term future.

In addition, Nationwide has already saved $2.2 million in hardware and expects to save even more by replacing additional physical servers with virtual machines. The company is also saving on its power bills, because they have reduced energy consumption and streamlined system administration.All of this was done without affecting availability, VMware reported.

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