Having between 4,000 to 5,000 servers that run Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating system, Nationwide looked at the software giant's Virtual Server software last year. "We decided to stay with VMware," Hunter said. "The [VMware] infrastructure is decoupled from the operating system and it's stable and easier to manage."
Nationwide has been beta testing VMware's VI3. Hunter said the new software suite with its focus on distributed resource scheduling and high availability should answer "two of the big concerns business units have about the performance and availability of virtual machines." He expects that his organization will start rolling out VI3 soon after it ships later this month.
He welcomed the expansion in CPU and memory limits offered in VI3 and the increased support for other operating systems. "We've done a lot of Windows and Linux [virtualization]," Hunter said. "Now, we'll look to consolidate our Solaris servers." VI3 offers full support for Sun Microsystems Inc.'s Solaris 10 Unix operating system.
Hunter is also pleased with VMware's decision announced Monday to centralize and automate its product licensing. "It's been a bit of a headache, before it was on a onesie, twosie basis," he said, with Hunter having to track the licenses on a spreadsheet.