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Microsoft customers gravitate to its Hyper-V software

Microsoft IT shops like the ease of using virtualization software from the same vendor

By Nancy Gohring, IDG News Service, and Eric Lai, Computerworld
September 8, 2008 12:00 PM ET

IDG News Service - BELLEVUE, Wash. -- Microsoft Corp. appears well positioned to gain Hyper-V virtualization software users from among its existing customers, judging from the comments of attendees at the company's virtualization launch party today.

Amazon.com Inc. is one company testing Hyper-V. So far, it is running two virtual servers, one as a testbed and one live, said Joe Stewart, a hardware developer at Seattle-based Amazon.com, speaking from the show floor.

Stewart said he looked at virtualization software from other providers, including VMware Inc., but he has settled on Hyper-V, in part because he has found that applications generally work best when running on virtualization software made by the same vendor. Since Amazon.com relies heavily on Microsoft, Hyper-V is likely to work the best, he said.

He also noted that VMware seemed to be more memory-intensive than Hyper-V.

Ultimately, Stewart aims to reduce the number of servers at each Amazon.com location around the globe from between 10 and 50 servers down to one. "Even five would be a cost savings. The power [savings] alone would be awesome," he said.

Amazon hopes to move out of test mode and into deployments next year, he said.

Worktank Enterprises LLC, a Seattle-based advertising company, is another heavy Microsoft user likely to choose Hyper-V over its competition largely based on compatibility. "We're a Microsoft shop," said Jonathan Blue, network operations manager at Worktank, "And we do a lot of work with Microsoft." While Worktank doesn't feel pigeonholed into using only Microsoft software, it makes sense to adopt Hyper-V because of its ease of use, he said.

The agency has 30 small servers running a variety of applications. About five of them are "doing almost nothing," Blue said. Worktank hopes to become more efficient in managing its server infrastructure through virtualization, he added.

Talx Corp., an early Hyper-V test user, also gravitated toward Hyper-V because of Talx's relationship with the software provider. "We're a Microsoft platform," said Bryan Garcia, vice president of technology at Talx, a provider of human-resources and payroll services in St. Louis. It also wasn't difficult to learn to use Microsoft's virtualization software, he said.

Plus, "if there's a problem, we have one organization to hold accountable," Garcia said.

Talx was running about 50 servers before it started using Hyper-V and is now down to 15 physical servers running about 80 virtual servers, he said.

Even customers who embraced VMware have gone back to Microsoft for desktop or application virtualization. Printing-press manufacturer Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG rolled out VMware four years ago, although it is mostly a Microsoft and SAP shop, according to CIO Michael Neff.

But the company reduced the number of applications on its employee desktops, which are scattered in 196 countries worldwide, to 500 from 21,000 using Microsoft's App-V.

Reprinted with permission from IDG.net. Story copyright 2014 International Data Group. All rights reserved.
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