Of Virtualization, Videos and VPs

mentors at Microsoft have always told me, how important it is to get quality
1:1 time with senior figures in the company; the idea being to get good
insights to strategy and a better handle on the executives' various
personalities and strengths. I don't think my mentors had in mind that I should
do video interviews. However, my recent recording on Server Consolidation with
Ted Kummert, Senior Vice
President, Microsoft Business Platform Division ,  was not only fun, but insightful too. Ted
is clear that Microsoft virtualization is a compelling choice for Microsoft
server applications, especially Microsoft SQL Server, but as
you'll see this is no glossy sales pitch. Ted has a very natural style, that
underlines his commitment to the technology  - he really is a WYSIWYG  exec.

discussed consolidation and virtualization - one of the hottest topics
customers raise with us these days. CTOs are typically looking to control
costs, but cost savings are hardly automatic: you must choose the right
strategy. In some (notorious) cases, I have seen CPU utilization actually drop
on consolidated boxes; typically because the servers were IO-bound.

these potential pitfalls, how are you to go about setting a strategy? A great
starting point is our server consolidation
, including a flowchart to walk you through the right choices. For
example, for many folks considering virtualization, security is a real concern
- a flowchart helps you choose between virtualization, and instance or database
consolidation. Similarly, for high availability, manageability and other
potential concerns, we can walk you through the options.

resources include our all-up Virtualization
 - at two pages it's certainly brief, but it will give you a
pretty good high-level overview of the options and benefits for SQL
Server, Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Exchange.
 We also have a rather good customer
case study with Avanade
, where you can see how the right choices enabled
them to cut physical servers from 136 to 20, while increasing their database
performance by 50%. (I can tell you now, they were not IO bound!)

our video conversation, Ted also makes it clear that partners will be important
in guiding customers. Our generic guidance and tools are invaluable for
understanding our architectures and capabilities, but partners are especially
well placed to get into specifics, whether hardware or integrated systems.

This conversation about
virtualization and consolidation is one we often have directly with customers:
it was great to be able to have it with Ted before the cameras for a wider