Virtualization Technology News and Information
VMware vSphere 4 Scores High Marks at Washington State University

VMware, Inc., the global leader in virtualization solutions from the desktop through the datacenter and to the cloud, today announced that School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) at Washington State University has upgraded to VMware vSphere 4 and identified several specific features, including VMware vStorage™ Thin Provisioning, VMware Fault Tolerance and VMware High availability (HA), that make VMware vSphere™ 4 a strong platform for the School of EECS's implementation of cloud computing.

Washington State University has over 25,000 students at campuses across the state. The university's School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) selected VMware vSphere 4 as it searched for the best platform to support a move to cloud computing. Facing budget cuts related to current economic conditions, as well as continual pressure to do more with less, the EECS IT staff recognized that a virtualization platform such as VMware vSphere 4 could help EECS improve the efficiency, control and choice in IT operations. VMware vSphere 4 aggregates and manages IT resources as a seamless, flexible and dynamic service that offers nearly limitless scalability with greater reliability and better performance than a traditional IT environment in which resources must be dedicated to individual applications and systems.

"Despite the challenging economic climate, cloud computing is actually allowing us to expand the services we offer to faculty and students rather than cut back," said Ryan Makamson, systems engineer at Washington State University's School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. "We determined that VMware vSphere 4 would be the right platform for our cloud as we move forward. VMware vSphere 4 has performed exceptionally well. Everything, literally everything, seems to run faster on VMware vSphere 4. And it gives us so much control. We can manage everything centrally, or we can delegate control. We have greater access to management information than we've ever had. The HA features allow us to 'cluster' critical applications without having to build a physical cluster. And VMware Fault Tolerance now takes high availability to a whole new level -- which makes all the difference to the students and professors when we can add the extra degree of protection to their critical applications."

Makamson explained that VMware vStorage Thin Provisioning reduces storage requirements by roughly 50 percent, which allows EECS's existing shared storage to support many more virtual machines, including desktops. He also noted that VMware vSphere 4 is the most refined virtualization platform he's ever seen. This manifests itself in many ways, including greater efficiency. Makamson believes that a production deployment of VMware vSphere 4 would allow EECS to defer significant server and storage purchases indefinitely.

"VMware vSphere 4 could help our university change its entire approach to IT," said Makamson. "We're now looking at the possibility of delivering IT as a cloud-based service to other departments in the College of Engineering and Architecture. VMware vSphere 4 could help us position IT strategically as the application service provider of the future. By implementing our cloud on the VMware vSphere 4 platform, our plan is to help the university community do more, be more flexible, and stretch its budget much further. Unlike other solutions that are still based on first-generation hypervisors, VMware vSphere 4 will enable all applications -- existing as well as next-generation apps -- to be provisioned on-demand and with guaranteed service levels."

VMware vSphere 4 offers organizations such as Washington State an evolutionary, non-disruptive path to cloud computing. That type of pragmatic approach can help decrease both capital and operating expenses related to IT, and free up budget to focus on delivering new capabilities.

Published Tuesday, July 28, 2009 6:15 AM by David Marshall
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