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Virtualized Environments Using Microsoft Virtual Server and NetApp

An Avanade White Paper by Aaron Spruit and Joel Danowitz

Virtualization provides many benefits, including stretching the IT budget, getting more out of hardware, and increasing efficiency. Through combining the storage power of NetApp, the virtualization technology of Microsoft, and the know-how of Avanade, the custom application development space has been completely revolutionized by virtualization.

Instead of having development and testing environments run on independent physical hardware, potentially taking days to deploy per environment, a complete virtual environment can be deployed in a matter of minutes using processes defined by Avanade. At its Avanade Technology Solutions center in Chicago, Avanade has created a process by which custom development environments, some consisting of up to six machines, can be created in a streamlined manner by using Microsoft® Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 on NetApp® FAS3000 series storage.

Using this streamlined virtualization process, composed of NetApp FlexVol® and Snapshot™ and an accompanying application from Avanade, ATS Chicago can demonstrate up to 60% reduction in storage requirements. In addition, the average time to provision a virtual machine has been reduced from 145 minutes to 23 minutes, a time savings of 84%.

These large reductions in both storage space requirements and provisioning time per virtual machine allow more virtual machines to be hosted per NetApp storage device, enabling the ATS Chicago application infrastructure team to be more efficient and to provide even more value-add solutions to its customers.

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