United States : Reddy Ice Boosts Productivity While Reducing Costs With Microsoft Hyper-V Server Virtualization Technology [TendersInfo (India)]
(TendersInfo (India) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Reddy Ice, a Dallas-based firm that manufactures and distributes 1.8 million tons of ice per year, has improved productivity, reduced IT infrastructure and increased network security by migrating to a Microsoft Hyper-V Server environment. In switching to a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement in the process, the company has reduced licensing costs and launched a sweeping IT modernization.
Roughly 600 of Reddy Ice s 3,000 employees operate PCs at 58 manufacturing facilities and 67 distribution centers located throughout the U.S. In June 2010, the company s IT environment consisted of 40 standalone servers, most of which ran Windows Server 2003 on outdated hardware and relied on local disk storage. IT staff members spent much of their time responding to disk-space overload, which resulted in a reactive environment and high levels of email downtime. To address the problem, the IT vice president ordered a pilot test of Google Mail and had the company s five email servers moved to VMware as part of a virtualization initiative.
New IT Manager Assesses Challenges Google Mail, however, didn t work well with the company s Microsoft Outlook messaging platform, which users didn t want to give up. People couldn t see one another s calendars; their appointments randomly disappeared, and some email rules didn t work, said Steven Williams, who joined Reddy Ice as IT manager in the midst of the pilot test.
When the company s chief administrative officer took over as acting IT head, Williams made the case that it would be 8 percent less expensive and far better for users to fix the existing Microsoft Exchange Server environment rather than going with Google Mail. For starters, this would mean upgrading to Microsoft Exchange Server 2010.
Enterprise Licensing Agreement Paves the Way Before setting his plan in motion, Williams upgraded the company s Microsoft Select Agreement to an Enterprise Agreement. This provided the best possible pricing, as well as more flexibility in evaluating and deploying new software. It also gave the IT team enhanced support, access to TechNet and all the advantages of Microsoft Software Assurance.
Building Continues on Microsoft Hyper-V Server Foundation The move to Microsoft Hyper-V Server during the past year has enabled Reddy Ice to reduce its 40 physical servers to 15. Systems administrator Erik Tillisch estimates that this has eliminated 40 hours per week formerly spent on maintaining, supporting and backing up standalone servers.
The company will cut costs significantly by standardizing on the latest Microsoft software. In addition to the 8 percent savings achieved by upgrading the Exchange Server environment rather than outsourcing to Google Mail, Tillisch estimates that completing the transition from VMware to Microsoft Hyper-V Server will save another 7 10 percent.
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