Why Go Virtual?
In talking with network managers at schools across
the country, one thing is clear: Virtualized networks
are the way to go. Here are the biggest benefits.
Virtual networks let you save time
|Network admins save time with virtualized servers in Minooka, IL. |
“I can have a brand new server up and running in about 20
minutes. Setting up a physical server used to take several
hours or even a day,” says Jason Willis, network manager at
Minooka (IL) Community Consolidated School District 201.
Virtual networks are easy to manage
“I can do all of my updating, change CPUs, reboot servers,
or whatever else I need from my house, from my iPad, wherever.
Recently I changed CPUs while I was at a conference,”
says Willis. “Before, we didn’t do updates unless there was
“Load balancing is automatic, as VMware moves virtual
servers to less busy hardware using VMware’s DRS. If a
physical server goes down, VMware will recognize that the
physical server has gone down and bring the virtual server
back up on different hardware,” says Steve Bradley, network
administrator at Rocklin (CA) Unified School District.
“Each box has an internal network so we don’t need as big a
happens inside of the server,
so it’s faster and easier
overall,” says Allen Clasen,
director of information
systems at Oswego (IL)
Community Unit School
Willis went from more than
20 physical servers to six
Bradley went from 100
physical servers to 9 physical
blade servers. Today
he runs more than 200
virtual servers on 16 physical
Clasen went from 60 to 3 standalone servers in each of
his two data centers.
Virtual networks can offer cost savings
“With virtualization we can centralize things to one location,
so we’re saving on air conditioning and electricity,” says
Scott S. Smith, chief technology officer at Mooresville (NC)
Graded School District. “We’re using money wisely; one
piece of hardware supports multiple environments.”
Virtual networks are more efficient
| A closeup of an HP Blade at Rocklin USD.|
“You can do more with less people,” says Bradley. “I lost
two technicians in the last two years, but we can still manage
“Most physical servers use only a fraction of what they
have available; with virtualization, we use as much as we
can,” says Clasen.
“We want to add more technology and capability, but
we can’t afford to hire more staff. A virtualized network
lets our current amount of staffers do more,” says Smith.
Virtual networks make more sense
“To me, virtualization is a no-brainer,” says Willis. “That’s
where technology is going. No more physical boxes and
individual servers doing individual things.”
“There’s an increased performance for the end user,”
says Clasen. “The physical servers are higher end so there’s
not as much delay as before.”
| Servers nearly manage themselves at Mooresville Graded School District.|
“There’s less hardware overall, so that’s less hardware
to break, to fail, or for us to have to deal with,” says