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Successful virtualization server and blades server deployment

IT reseller takeaway: The partnership between virtualization and blades servers could be a lucrative offering when your customers need more space and less overhead costs. While the need for storage is growing, many companies want to reduce their carbon footprint. The case study excerpt from our sister site SearchServerVirtualization.com outlines Catholic Charities of Boston's successful virtualization/blades server deployment.


Over the past year,

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Catholic Charities of Boston has transformed its data center at 75 Kneeland Street from a hodgepodge of mismatched beige server boxes on bakers' racks to a bladed, virtualized infrastructure.

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Catholic Charities offers some 140 programs and services in 40 locations throughout eastern Massachusetts. To operate the technology associated with these servers, the organization has an IT staff of eight who manage a jumbled mix of Hewlett-Packard Co. and Compaq servers.

Before committing to blade servers and approaching the charity organization's CFO with a $1 million request, the IT staff tested a couple blades. "We support 40 different sites and had to be sure everything would work for us on the new systems before putting both feet in," said David Walsh, Catholic Charities CIO.

After a few months, the results were impressive enough for the charity organization to invest in 25 HP Intel dual-core processor blades and two 16-unit blade racks. The servers now run Microsoft Windows and Linux. They use Integrated Lights-Out 2 (iLO) management software, which comes standard in HP blades, to remotely manage the servers.

They also deployed 50 virtual machines on five of the physical servers using VMware Inc. to save on power and space. Despite the cautious, experimental deployment, IT nonetheless managed to finish in two days, Eric Johnson, Catholic Charities IT project manager said.

"[Virtualizing] was actually one of the easiest things I've ever had to do," Johnson said.

Read the entire article.

This was first published in September 2007

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