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Hosting provider migrates 10,000 virtual machines to Hyper-V as VMware licences 'too costly'

Matthew Finnegan | Feb. 10, 2014
Microsoft virtualisation tools 'fifty percent cheaper' for Scandinavian firm TeleComputing

The changes prompted TeleComputing to switch to Windows Server 2012 with Hyper-V and Systems Center, which Espeseth says has become a viable alternative in recent years.

"We found that Hyper-V with Windows Server 2012 and Systems Center was certainly improving, and was more than good enough for what we needed. So we started a migration based on the 2012 versions. Now we have upgraded to the R2 versions of the Windows Server and it is getting even better."

By moving to the cheaper Microsoft software Espeseth said that TeleComputing is able to save a significant amount on licensing compared to VMware, with lower costs for adding guest virtual servers.

"It was a significant cost saving. I can say that it was more than fifty percent [of the licensing costs for hypervisor and virtual machine management]."

Speeding server migration
Since work began migrating servers a year ago, TeleComputing has swapped 1,000 virtual machines in the space of five months, and expects to have 3,000 completed by the end of this summer.

To support the migration process, TeleComputing is using Double-Take Move tools. The migration software copies all data, applications and registry settings from a source server to another physical, virtual or cloud server, with the migration occuring in the background, reducing downtime and allowing TeleComputing to meet its customer SLAs.

Espeseth said that the aim is to move as much of its 10,000 virtual machines to Hyper-V as is possible, having signed up with Microsoft's Cloud OS Network. This comprises of 25 service providers across the globe which provide cloud hosting services compatible with Microsoft Azure and Hyper-V virtualised environments.

However he acknowledged that it will difficult to totally remove ESX from its servers, due to the ubiquity of VMware in its customers' own data centres.

Espeseth explained: "It could be that a customer already has a VMware environment and wants to have disaster recovery in our data centre so wants some kind of integration, and that is going to be easier if we use VMware programs."

Licensing changes
Espeseth said that while other service providers may find that VMware licensing is less problematic in their individual case, he would like to see changes within the pricing structure.

"It is important for a service provider to see some kind of scalability, and we cannot have a licensing model where the licence increases at the same rate as the volume increases.

"This means that we can't have a licensing model where we have to pay per gigabyte of vRAM, and we wouldn't like to have a licensing model based on the number of VMs either. We would like to see a licensing model on, for instance, the number of physical sockets on the server."

VMware declined to comment on its licensing model for service providers.


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