SpinSys was tasked by the United States Air Force to help consolidate physical legacy commodity servers into virtual resources in order to reduce acquisition and maintenance cost, manpower requirements and shrink their overall data center footprint.

SpinSys provided the detailed analysis required of the legacy hardware to determine the best approach to the virtualization requirements. In order to gain the greatest reduction in data center footprint, Spin procured blade servers in addition to expanding the SAN (storage area network) capabilities to support the migration.

The starting server footprint was roughly 100 physical servers and the end result after virtualization was 25 servers with an average of 4 virtual machines per physical blade.  All storage was offloaded to the SAN so these new blade servers did not provide any local storage.  There was a significant cost reduction in in HVAC and electrical expenditures.

VMWare’s VMotion technology enabled the team to seamlessly reallocate virtual machines to different blade servers in the chassis.  This permitted hardware maintenance on the fly, even during the business work day, without any impact on the production servers.  In addition, it allowed the move of a virtual machine, in real time, off a failing blade to another healthy blade without any downtime.

SpinSys was able to help the Air Force realize a 75% reduction in hardware resources with only the most robust servers maintaining “bare-metal” installations.  In addition, by providing the overall platform for virtualization, the SpinSys was able to introduce the capability to scale these environments quickly and efficiently.

The task of converting physical hardware servers into virtual servers took SpinSys approximately a year and a half to complete and came within budget.  By reducing their footprint, the Air Force was able to reduce costs in several ways – from operating costs, labor and support personnel costs, and was now able to more easily manage their infrastructure stack.