NMCI uses Distributed Resource Schedule (DRS) to monitor server utilization and optimize application resources. Additionally, if a server fails, the VMs are quickly moved to another server. According to the Navy, this project boosted efficiency and reduced downtime by 50 percent, thus boosting user satisfaction.
Previously, the network leveraged Windows clustering to move app services from one copy of the OS to another. Now, using Vizioncore's vRanger, the network boots new VMs out of storage, a more efficient approach.
Driving a virtualization project of this magnitude is a challenging endeavor, notes Burke. "We did extensive planning -- working with VMware -- before we undertook the effort as to what applications and servers made the most sense to virtualize," he said. "But even with extensive planning, testing and strategizing, there are still things that you cannot anticipate, especially considering the size and scope of NMCI."
The most challenging aspect of going virtual: Ensuring there are adequate resources, including a healthy back-end storage environment, to satisfy the high demand of Navy applications.