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Virtualization of Servers Helps Law Firm Go Green—and Save Green

When a large Midwestern law firm decided to go green, it was about more than installing blue recycling cans. Green meant paperless processes, Energy Star technology and even transportation subsidies for employees who rode the bus or carpooled. More than that, the six-office, 400-plus-user firm saw an opportunity to make information technology updates that would help it achieve its environmental mission—plus save money over the long term.

That’s where MicroAge’s Steve Bocknick stepped in to help. Steve listened to the firm’s IT director and assessed the company’s needs and IT opportunities.

“We knew we wanted to virtualize the client’s servers—and we wanted to do it at the best price with the best products,” Steve says. “Our client knew that virtualization would be an investment, and the IT director wanted to make sure everything was done right the first time around.”

Steve pulled in experts from Hewlett Packard and VMware to present a complete solution to the client. By moving data onto an HP ProLiant BL460c Server Blade and using VMware software to partition the physical server (which allows it to run multiple virtual machines simultaneously on a single server), the client saw a number of benefits:

  • Reduced space required for servers—space that can be used for staff or to reduce off-site storage costs
  • Lower energy bills
  • A long-term reduction in hardware costs, because one virtual server can hold the data of 15 physical servers

Plus, the investment in virtualization helped the firm achieve its green initiatives. Consider this: VMware estimates that by virtualizing just 20 servers, companies can save 132,221 kWh in annual server and cooling energy usage. And where the bottom line is concerned, that’s an estimate of more than $13,200 in annual savings.

“The client was happy with the final product,” Steve says. “It was a seamless transition, and we made it simple so that their IT staff was able to handle the implementation on their timeline without any problems.”

Virtualization doesn’t have to stop with servers either.

“After the server virtualization, the firm began virtualizing its PCs as well,” Steve explains. “Virtualization can happen in steps. In the end, it’s really about putting together a puzzle and making sure it fits.”

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Stephen Bocknick
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