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Situation

Founded in 1994, Mamut is a leading European provider of customer relationship management, accounting, e-commerce, and other business management solutions for small and midsize businesses. More than 400,000 customers in 16 countries use Mamut solutions, and more than 95,000 individuals use Mamut Open Services, which are Mamut-hosted, software-plus-services solutions.

“Hyper-V fits better into our Microsoft infrastructure and simplifies our IT strategy by enabling us to work with as few vendors as possible.”

Erich Nøkling, Business Development Manager, Mamut

In 2006, Mamut purchased Active 24, one of the top Web hosting companies in Europe, to facilitate the transformation of its packaged software products to a software-plus-services model and also to expand into standard Web hosting services. Combined, Mamut and Active 24 owned eight data centers in six countries, which significantly increased the number of servers that Mamut had to manage.

“Using early virtualization technologies, we consolidated the eight data centers down to three running a mixture of Linux and Windows®-based servers,” says Erich Nøkling, Business Development Manager for Mamut. The Active 24 staff had used VMware ESX to consolidate about 1,200 physical servers down to 500 physical servers. The Mamut IT staff had used Virtual Server 2005 to achieve similar server reduction in its data center. Between the two companies using both virtualization technologies, Mamut achieved the impressive accomplishment of consolidating about 1,500 servers down to 590 servers running approximately 1,000 virtual machines (VMs).

Mamut wanted to continue its successful server consolidation effort but encountered limits in its virtualization environment. “On the hosting side of the business, our VMware support was running out and servers needed to be refreshed with new versions,” Nøkling says. “VMware licensing is quite expensive. On the Mamut Open Services side of the business, we wanted higher application performance than Virtual Server 2005 R2 could provide. We also wanted to replace all new servers with virtual machines to continue to reduce rack space and power consumption.”

Nøkling also wanted to eliminate the extra work that his technical staff needed to stay up to date on two virtualization technologies. “VMware introduced a third party into our mostly-Microsoft product mix and affected our overall support,” he says.

Solution

Mamut learned early about the Windows Server® 2008 operating system featuring Hyper-V virtualization technology and decided to join the Microsoft Virtualization Rapid Deployment Program (RDP) to evaluate the software. “The Hyper-V interface is more like the other Microsoft administrative interfaces that we use, which simplifies use and improves productivity,” says Roy Iversen, Senior Technical Engineer at Mamut.

Also, Hyper-V is built in to Windows Server 2008, so the licensing costs are much lower than those for VMware, which would represent a significant savings as Mamut grows its virtual machine holdings to

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