- Posted by irishhealthinsurance
- On February 7, 2012
By Leslie Faughnan
VHI Healthcare is another major Irish organisation that has embraced virtualisation.
“We invested in our first VMware ESX San in 2007, as a dedicated systems development San for our IT Solutions team,” said Conall Lalor, Windows systems manager.” We had a need for a faster server provisioning pace in some projects at that time plus wanting to dip our toes into virtualisation.
“Excellent results became apparent early on and we began to appreciate the power and the on-thefly flexibility of a virtualised architecture. Within a year we had gained the confidence to deploy our first production VMware San. Shortly thereafter, we deployed VMware as a key technology enabler for our disaster recovery planning.”
VHI Healthcare now has 93 VMs across those three San environments, 49 in the production San, serving 850 users across its full range of applications. Working in a virtualised environment has newly empowered the IT team, according to Lalor, and helped redefine how they work. It has aligned technology and the business more closely.
Lalor is another who pointed to the inconsistency in the software market with different software vendors at various stages or levels of supporting virtualisation.” Our strategy is that where a software upgrade or the provisioning of a new server is required, we engage with the application vendor to agree terms on migrating from physical to virtual.
“Working with our virtualised environment has become part of the acceptance criteria and our software providers are buying into it.VM ware now forms an integral part of the renewal and regeneration cycle of our server infrastructure. We never regarded virtualisation as a mass migration project and have been taking a more extended approach.”
His other main advice to other organisations was to get stuck in and to start looking at virtualisation around some systems that are perhaps not mission critical.
“We took a slightly more aggressive approach with those systems that had smaller user communities. If you do encounter any exceptions during the migration process, it is straightforward to pull back to the pre-existing physical server if needs be.” He also suggested that applications vendors should not be allowed to sway decisions.’
“You will encounter reluctance among some software vendors to commit to supporting their application on a virtual platform. But since we became confident with VMware we have been successfully virtualising key systems that, strictly speaking, were not supposed to or designed to run in a virtualised environment.
Director of Corporate Business
Irish Health Insurance
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