Egenera Customer Case Study

Egenera logo

"Microsoft has been responsive to questions and comments, and from our perspective, Microsoft has done an effective job with the documentation. Egenera is satisfied with the completeness of the MCPP documentation and with Microsoft's ongoing efforts to improve the documentation." -Rick Jones, Principal Software Engineer


Customer Size: 160

Country or region: USA

Industry: Data Virtualization

The Company

Egenera has been shipping its data center virtualization system since 2001, serving more than 200 enterprises, service providers and government agencies worldwide.

Traditional systems vendors have left a legacy of data center complexity—layers of hardware and software that require armies of people to manage and scores of services to configure and run. Egenera was born out of one customer's realization that overcoming IT pain points would require a greenfield approach. Company founder Vern Brownell, former CTO of Goldman Sachs, engineered a new server architecture that simplifies data center infrastructure—reducing complexity, increasing agility, improving availability, and lowering the total cost of ownership.

"Customer response to Virtual VGA has been very positive. Thus, the MCPP protocols have contributed significantly to a component of our Egenera offering that is important to our customers who run Windows on Egenera servers.

The MCPP documentation has been critical to our understanding of the protocols and our ability to implement them in our products. We have made extensive use of the MCPP documentation, and we have been satisfied with its completeness and usability. We have found the documentation to be effective in enabling the development of Virtual VGA, and we have used it to successfully implement the protocols in our Egenera servers.

Microsoft has been responsive to questions and comments, and from our perspective, Microsoft has done an effective job with the documentation. Egenera is satisfied with the completeness of the MCPP documentation and with Microsoft's ongoing efforts to improve the documentation." -Rick Jones, Principal Software Engineer

How long has the company been in business?

Egenera was founded in 2000 and began shipping systems in the last quarter of 2001.

How does the program work?

Egenera's technology is an integrated hardware and software solution that combines diskless, stateless processing blades with unique virtualization and management software. Designed to support business-critical and mission-critical applications, the platform provides high-performance, full redundancy and high availability, and unmatched flexibility.

Improve Agility

Egenera can dramatically compress the application—development cycle by enabling IT to quickly provide and repurpose computing resources as applications move from development to production. Once deployed, applications can be dynamically scaled up to accommodate increasing demand and scaled down to improve utilization.

Lower TCO (Total Cost of Ownership)

Egenera's data center virtualization architecture can cut capital and operating costs in half according to customers.


Egenera automates administration of processing, storage and network resources to reduce operating costs. Systems are managed remotely and are easily integrated into the customer's data center management processes.

Decrease Time to Market

Our customers collapse the time to bring applications to market by consolidating their development, QA, testing and production silos into one flexible environment.

New servers can be installed and deployed including automated configuration of the software stack in less than three minutes.

Reduce Complexity

Reduces the resources needed for computing, storage and networking and eliminates up to 80% of the physical components required with legacy systems. This reduction in complexity lowers TCO by reducing hardware costs for servers and networking, software license fees, maintenance fees and system administration. Customers also spend less for power, floor space and cooling.


According to customers, Egenera can reduce excess capacity by 50 percent.

IT routinely over-provisions for peak loads, high availability and disaster recovery. In many data centers, utilization averages just 15 to 20 percent.

Egenera technology enables dynamic re-provisioning, easy right-sizing of applications to resources and true N+1 high availability and disaster recovery to raise utilization while lowering costs.

Microsoft Protocol Programs Implementation Details

In 2003, when Egenera first launched support for Windows Server 2003, customers had only two ways to access the servers running Windows. They could bring up a command line interface, or they could use Microsoft's remote desktop client to access a server's graphical desktop over a network. Because the command line interface is not popular with Windows users, and use of Microsoft's remote desktop client was dependent on the availability of a network, Egenera faced customer demand for another way to access Egenera servers running Windows.

In response to that demand, Egenera obtained a license under the Microsoft Communications Protocol Program (MCPP) in November 2003. Egenera used the MCPP License to implement a graphical desktop interface within the Egenera virtualized server environment. The interface is referred to as "Virtual VGA". Virtual VGA enables users to access the Egenera servers that run Windows Server 2003 through an interface that is familiar to Windows users, and without the need for an external network.


Detailed knowledge of Microsoft's proprietary protocols was required to redirect graphical console traffic to the Egenera management console via the set of Egenera extensions for Windows Server 2003 referred to as Virtual VGA. The development of Virtual VGA under an MCPP License has enabled use of Windows Server 2003 on the Egenera platform as described above, which Egenera considers to be an improvement.

Level of Satisfaction with Microsoft Open Protocols Support Team

Microsoft provided thorough responses when the Egenera engineering team had questions about the MCPP documentation.