CH2M Hill used VMware to set up 350 virtual machines in its corporate data center on about a dozen physical Dell servers, and deployed another 100 VMware virtual machines in regional offices.
The Hyper-V deployment is limited to just six physical boxes so far but Barton says they'll expand that within the data center and deploy Hyper-V clusters in as many as 40 branch offices across the country.
Barton acknowledges that the Hyper-V deployment is fairly limited at the moment, but says the project will produce significant savings as CH2M Hill rolls virtualization out to the regional offices, which would have been more expensive with VMware.
"We're right in the beginning of it," he says.
CH2M Hill and Microsoft estimate that the customer will save $280,000 by avoiding further VMware licensing fees.
"Plus, we can now afford to tackle our 600 field servers and are aiming to virtualize 20 percent of these computers each year," Barton is quoted as saying in the Microsoft press release. "At $5,000 a server, that's a savings of $3 million over the next three to five years."
Barton expects management to be simplified by switching from VMware to Microsoft because CH2M Hill was already a Microsoft shop.
"The folks out in the field, they're all used to the look and feel of a Microsoft server," Barton said in his interview with Network World. "It's easier for them to get up to speed," and easier to set up a Hyper-V cluster from scratch.
Applications slated to be placed in Hyper-V hosts include SharePoint, databases running SQL Server 2008, and Exchange Server 2010.
"It has to be a very needy machine to not go into virtualization at all," Barton says.
Barton won't be making the trip to VMworld in San Francisco, but Microsoft executives will be there in hopes of convincing more VMware customers to switch vendors.
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