Business SituationSeveral years ago, Avanade helped them to implement their common operating environment on Microsoft® Windows® platform, including file, print and Exchange® Server. Now, however, two pressures are forcing Subsea 7 to review aspects of this environment. First, they will move offices in Norway and this means creating a new data center. Second, they want to reduce the cost of their estate. If the company can reduce the number of physical servers by consolidating them onto a smaller number of virtual servers, it will simplify the office move and reduce the cost of managing, powering and supporting the server estate.
SolutionA number of factors underlined this decision. Namely, the company’s ‘trusted advisor’ relationship with Avanade and, additionally, the fact that the rest of its infrastructure was already based on Microsoft technology, suggesting potential savings in licensing costs compared with similar software from VMware. Subsea 7 asked Avanade to carry out a pilot project looking at their Norwegian data center, with the objective to prove that Microsoft’s Hyper-V technology was mature and ready for deployment in a business-critical environment and that Subsea 7’s systems would migrate to it smoothly.
Working closely with experts at Microsoft and Subsea 7’s IT staff, Avanade consultants identified 14 physical servers (out of a total of 24) that are candidates for virtualization. They included Active Directory domain controllers, file, print and email servers, SQL servers and various proprietary lines of business applications. They built a representative Hyper-V environment and carried out migration testing by moving some of the real servers onto the test environment.
ResultsThe pilot was a success, proving that Microsoft Hyper-V and Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 could cope with Subsea 7’s software. It also provided a compelling business case for migrating the Norwegian and UK data centers, along with (as time in port allows), the company’s ships to Hyper-V.
Cost saving is the main driver behind virtualization. Avanade’s project promises savings in excess of £114,000 a year in licensing costs and operational costs across the UK and Norway. Also, replacing 14 physical servers will cut energy costs, cooling costs, and the company's environmental impact.