Virtualizing Servers lowered our Electric Bill

Micro Doctor previously had about 20 Servers in our Warren, Ohio corporate office and data center. A couple of years ago we started a project to virtualize our data center servers. This means that we transitioned what were previously many separate physical servers, into just a few physical machines that each hold multiple virtualized servers. The reasons we wanted to do this were ease of management, lower cost of hardware per server, and hopefully save some money on our electric bill. I was initially doubtful that we would ever be able to realize any savings on our electric bill.

We installed 2 Lenovo Servers over the next 12 months. These servers were very powerful and slightly more expensive than the servers we normally would deploy for physical servers. They had dual processors and 6 cores per processor which gives us the equivalent of 12 CPUs. We also loaded them with memory, 64 Gb each.

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Electric Bill Analysis

We decided to use Microsoft’s HyperV technology instead of VMWare virtual server platform for a couple of reasons. We are a small business and the Microsoft solution is priced for small business, while VMWare is designed for more enterprise level pricing. The second reason is that we are long time Microsoft Partner.

We started with Server 2008R2 and HyperV ver2.0 and it worked, but in that version, failover was not well thought out. When Microsoft released Server 2012, containing HyperV 3.0, which featured Microsoft’s “Server Replication”, we decided to upgrade the servers to take advantage of the new features. It took additional time to migrate to Server 2012 but the failover replication that we were able to accomplish was worth the extra time and effort.

Now we have the ability to replicate our servers between HyperV Server 1 and HyperV Server 2, giving us an easier recovery from a server failure. Now we can not only have backups between two servers, we can spin up all the virtual servers on one server or the other server in case of a hardware failure.

Now, back to the surprising costs savings. We looked at our electric bills, compared a 24 month period, and we were pleasantly surprised.

While the approximately $150.00 per month does not necessarily warrant virtualizing your servers, if you were going to have to replace the servers due to age and you need the excellent replication and redundancy features of Microsoft Server 2012 Virtual Servers, then the electric bill savings are a nice bonus.

If you need Microsoft Server upgrades or maintenance then give our office a call. We recently achieved Microsoft Silver Infrastructure Solution Provider for the 12th Year in a row.

Article Written by Mark Richmond, MCSE and President at Micro Doctor Inc.

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