Customer Spotlight: Marquette University reins in storage costs with Windows Server 2012, goes with Hyper-V over VMware

I recently blogged about some of the positive sentiments and comments Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V has been receiving from the press and recently surveyed customers, as well as the sharp uptick in deployments. As customer adoption grows for Windows Server 2012, the new Hyper-V and our private cloud solution, I thought it would be helpful to highlight some of the great stories from actual customers with real hands-on experience using the technologies.  While we at Microsoft love to provide our updates, guidance and opinions, I know there’s nothing like actual examples of why and how our customers – your peers - are using our products.  I’m planning to provide brief summaries like these moving forward on a regular basis.  As always, we’d love to hear questions, comments and stories about your experience!

Today I wanted to highlight Marquette University, a private college in Milwaukee, WI with almost 12,000 students and about 1,100 faculty members.  Like most organizations, the school is always looking for more value from every technology dollar it spends.  To meet the ever-changing and expanding needs of their students and staff, the university’s IT team is moving forward with Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V. 

A small team of 4 manages more than 300 Windows Servers at Marquette, so virtualization is key for both management and cost efficiency to keep the many apps on those servers running with high availability.  “We were really eager to get a look at the enhanced Hyper-V capabilities to see how they could help us be more efficient and get away from the added cost of VMware,” said Dan Smith, Deputy Chief Information Officer at Marquette University. “We also wanted to test the new flexible storage options that might enable us to shift to cheaper storage.”

With its upgrade to Windows Server 2012 and using technologies like Hyper-V over SMB, Marquette estimates that its storage costs will be 10 times lower than using SANs.  By increasing virtual machine density, they estimate they will cut server-related costs by 50%.  Using Cluster-Aware Updating, they estimate they can finish maintenance work 50% faster, resulting in improved availability. “Microsoft supports all the enterprise features that we want for high availability,” said Anthony Ciske, Windows Administrator. “Between Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012, the overall management of our environment will be greatly simplified.”

“We’ve been watching Hyper-V come to feature parity with VMware, and every VMware feature we need is now in Hyper-V,” says System Administrator Aaron Ott. “We’re not putting any new virtual machines on VMware.”  He adds: “There are always new projects coming along, new servers to get up and running, new users to work with, and new products to evaluate. With Windows Server 2012 helping us be more efficient, we’ll have more time to spend on these activities.”

If you’d like to know more about Marquette’s story, you can read the whole case study here.  There’s also a short video about the university’s use of Windows Server in the video selector at the bottom of this page.

More information on Windows Server 2012 storage capabilities is located here and on Hyper-V virtualization is here.  If you’re ready to check out Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V for yourself you can get started by downloading the evaluation copy for free here.

Thanks for reading and your time.

---- Edwin

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