September 05, 2012, 9:15 PM — From the moment he walked in the door at BancVue in December 2010, Sunny Nair knew he wanted to move the financial services software company from Microsoft's Hyper-V to VMware's virtualization technology.
The company was having trouble with some applications crashing, and while that wasn't caused by Hyper-V, Hyper-V did make it harder to bring crashed servers back up quickly, says Nair, vice president of IT and systems operations for the Austin, Texas-based company.
There were also time-stamp issues between the hypervisor and the host machines, meaning that the accuracy of logging was off and drifting further from real time day by day. "It becomes crippling," Nair says.
He decided that while Microsoft does some things well - BancVue is a Microsoft shop for desktops, servers and developing its products in .Net - VMware specializes in virtualization. Plus he'd had experience with VMware at a previous job.
Cost justification wasn't an issue, but overcoming the server-restoration problem and making more efficient use of infrastructure just made sense, he says.
The decision was pretty much Nair's to make. "I was head of data center operations and just made the call," he says. That was back in 2010, and his team started immediately testing applications on VMware virtual machines side-by-side with the same apps on Hyper-V. For the test he used free trial versions of ESXi and VCenter.
After a couple of weeks the four system admins who would have to deal with the environment day-to-day agreed to the switch, and the migration started. BancVue bought three Dell physical servers to host the VMware versions of applications. It took four to six hours to bring up each server, he says, such as a SQL server with one application running on it on one VM.
That meant that for a while the company had both a VMware version and a Hyper-V version ready to be in production. After the VMware version proved stable, the hardware for the Hyper-V version was recycled as the host for another group of VMware virtual servers, Nair says.