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Server Network
16 January 2012

Nationwide Collection Agency Goes Virtual with VMware EXSi

A nationwide collection agency had to replace about 10 physical servers that were all over 4 years old. They also had upcoming projects and needed to add more servers to their environment. Management wanted to increase overall network performance, but had to adhere to a set budget for all this new technology. The IT department wanted scalability, flexibility, and high availability solution for their critical servers.

Flexible proposed a VMware vSphere4 Essentials Plus solution on 3 host servers and shared storage. The VMware Essentials Plus bundle provided the company with enterprise class capabilities including vMotion and High Availability (HA) at an entry level price. Although Essentials Plus can only license a max of 3 physical ESXi host servers, the collection agency was easily able to run all of their virtual servers on this hardware.

For shared storage, Flexible highly recommended a direct attached SAS SAN over a 1-gbps iSCSI SAN for much greater performance at a low price. The SAS SAN offered speeds equivalent to a high-end fiber solution at the price of 1-gbps iSCSI. The caveat to the direct attached SAS SAN was that it maxed out at 4 physical server connections. Since the VMware Essential Plus licensing maxed out at 3 physical servers, the direct attached max was not a problem.

Flexible successfully migrated this collection agency to a full virtual environment. We migrated their ERP system running on a Novell Netware to a Windows 2008 R2 Server, their Citrix Presentation Server to XenApp, Exchange 2003 to 2010, Crystal Reports to SQL Reporting Services, and Goldmine to Microsoft CRM.