During the RDP, the team worked with Microsoft Services to Consulting to connect System Center 2012 R2 to its VMware environment. That gave it the capability to manage its VMware virtual machines (VMs) using System Center's Virtual Machine Manager component, providing Garcia's team with more control over the VM life cycle, from provisioning to configuration, deployment and deprovisioning.
At the same time, when Garcia's staff started discussing the results of the Microsoft RDP, they came to a surprising conclusion: Hyper-V virtual machines (VMs) might be good enough to replace its VMware VMs. With its Microsoft Enterprise Agreement license, ABM was already licensed to use Hyper-V. As part of the RDP, Garcia had his team investigate shifting some or all of ABM's virtualized workloads from VMware to Hyper-V 3.0.
"It became clear that we could really run our environment on Hyper-V with what Microsoft had planned," he says. "The conversation became, 'why are we on VMware?' as opposed to 'why should we switch?'"
Windows Server 2012 R2 a Tipping Point in Virtualization Technology
"We are always interested in participating in Microsoft RDPs because we want to stay on the cutting edge of technology, and we want to work closely with Microsoft as it develops new versions of the products we depend on," Garcia says.
"Windows Server 2012 R2 represents a tipping point in new technology; Microsoft is finally on par with or ahead of VMware capabilities. The fact that we are already licensed for this technology makes us, and companies everywhere, wonder why they need anything but Hyper-V."
The company has begun to deploy certain production workloads, like Microsoft Lync Server 2013, onto Hyper-V hosts and is now focusing on building its Hyper-V experience with the aim of eventually migrating all VMware workloads to Hyper-V.
Garcia says the entire team has been certified in Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) IT services management practices to help them correctly implement the System Center 2012 R2 Service Manager component.
The team has also begun using Windows Azure to extend on-premises workloads into the cloud and deliver IT services in markets where it has no datacenter, allowing it to serve customers like London's Heathrow Airport.
"I feel that we're bucking the trend; going against the grain, so to speak," Garcia says. "This topic turns heads. A lot of people are comfortable running on VMware. We just want to do things better. Our goal is to be as efficient as possible by leveraging as much automation as possible."
"Our vision is to implement all the System Center 2012 R2 components and get our team to the point where consolidating platforms becomes easier, managing multiple platforms becomes easier and the pieces are connected and managed through a single pane of glass," Garcia says. "That will be Nirvana."
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