REDMOND, Wash. — March 30, 2009 — The IT department at Wells’ Dairy Inc., one of the world’s largest family-owned and managed ice cream manufacturer in the United States, is using virtualization and systems management solutions from Microsoft Corp. to support the business. By deploying Microsoft virtualization and Microsoft System Center management software, Wells’ Dairy has been able to save more than $500,000 (U.S.) on hardware and software licensing costs.
Wells’ Dairy, founded in 1913, employs more than 2,500 personnel and is based in the heartland of America in Le Mars, Iowa, known as the “Ice Cream Capital of the World.” The company wanted to optimize its growing datacenter operations, improve business continuity and disaster recovery, and build a more agile IT infrastructure. To do that, the Wells’ Dairy IT department turned to virtualization, a technology allowing several servers to exist on a single physical piece of hardware yet run independently.
“Our goal is to not only support but grow the business through optimal IT infrastructure and services,” said Mike Kooistra, director of information services at Wells’ Dairy. “We believe that a long-term vision of efficient and consolidated technologies delivers better value than short-term fixes, and will allow us to lead our industry from a business and technical standpoint.”
After evaluating alternate virtualization software, Wells’ Dairy turned to Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V to virtualize critical business applications on Dell PowerEdge servers, and improve manageability of both physical and virtual IT systems with the System Center suite of management tools. The company is running an average of 11 virtual machines per physical host across its IT environment. Mission-critical applications, such as Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, electronic data interchange systems and plant maintenance management, run across a highly available cluster of servers to help ensure business continuity by design. This high-availability clustering feature comes with Windows Server 2008 and provides high availability for clusters within a datacenter and can scale to provide high availability for clusters either within a datacenter or geographically dispersed datacenters.
“Unlimited virtualization for Windows Server 2008 Datacenter and System Center significantly enhances the value proposition for virtual machine deployment and ensures that we will continue with this cost-effective and energy-efficient strategy for the long term,” said Kooistra.
Wells’ Dairy’s IT team has begun to use System Center to manage its Windows-based IT operations, and utilizes the automation features of System Center to alert the staff if a virtual or a physical server goes below a preset service level. Wells’ Dairy is also using System Center Data Protection Manager 2007 to back up its stand-alone Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V servers and Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 servers.
“We see a long-term alliance between Microsoft and Wells’ Dairy along the virtualization path,” said Kooistra. “This is in accordance with our business strategy to standardize on technologies that support our needs today and that will grow with us.”
“By providing virtualization as part of the server operating system and management suite, thousands of customers are able to easily integrate enterprise-level virtualization solutions into their existing IT infrastructures cost-effectively,” said Zane Adam, senior director of virtualization strategy at Microsoft. “This will help customers to scale out to highly available enterprise-wide deployments, gaining significant cost and energy savings.”
More information on how Microsoft’s server virtualization solution is approximately one-third of the cost of VMware is available at http://www.microsoft.com/virtualization/why/roi/default.mspx.*
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* Based on a comparison of Windows Server 2008 Enterprise with Hyper-V and Microsoft System Center Server Management Suite Enterprise with VMware’s VMware Infrastructure Enterprise with VMware vCenter Server. Includes two years’ support costs for both. Based on Microsoft estimated retail prices and published VMware prices available at https://www.vmware.com/vmwarestore as of Feb. 4, 2009. Actual reseller prices may vary.
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