How VMware is really using ESX

Despite its leadership, VMware never revealed how it’s using ESX and other products internally.
For the first time ever some details were shared in a presentation (DC35) during VMworld Europe 2009 by Tayloe Stansbury, the company CIO.

  • VMware has an internal VDI deployment of over 550 users, including members of most departments.
    The client configuration includes Wyse V10 Thin Clients, Dell 24” monitors (configured at 1920×1200 pixels, 15bit resolution), keyboard and mouse.
    The server configuration runs on HP c7000 blade systems, EMC Clariion CX3-80 storage and Cisco 3020s switch modules for the HP blades.
    The entire infrastructure is powered by VMware Virtual Desktop Manager (VDM) 2.1 for US and View 3.0 for Europe.
  • VMware has an internal virtualized mail server deployment serving 7800 mailboxes.
    The entire infrastructure is powered by 29 virtual machines (split in two data centers) running Microsoft Exchange 2007 Enterprise Edition. 22 of them are just for the mailboxes, the other 7 work as Client Access Servers (CAS).
  • VMware virtualizes its entire ERP infrastructure except Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC). 
  • 97% of the company servers are virtualized across one Tier 4 and two Tier 2 data centers.
    Just two applications are missing (one is Oracle RAC).
    EMC DMX4 is used as the storage backend of choice for mission-critical applications, otherwise EMC CX3-80 is the choice.
    The front-end servers of choice are HP c7000 blades everywhere.
  • The average consolidation ration is 10:1 for server and 64:1 for VDI desktops
  • Each administrator manages an average of 145 virtual machines.


Look at the virtual desktop ratio, this is awesome! Unfortunately the server type is not specified here L


Read more here, also to know how Microsoft does it with its Hyper-V



About PiroNet

Didier Pironet is an independent blogger and freelancer with +15 years of IT industry experience. Didier is also a former VMware inc. employee where he specialised in Datacenter and Cloud Infrastructure products as well as Infrastructure, Operations and IT Business Management products. Didier is passionate about technologies and he is found to be a creative and a visionary thinker, expressing with passion and excitement, hopefully inspiring and enrolling people to innovation and change.
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