VMware (NYSE:VMW), the global leader in virtualization solutions from the desktop to the datacenter, today announced that Consumers Credit Union (CCU) has deployed VMware Infrastructure, the industry-leading datacenter virtualization and management suite, as the enterprise-wide business platform for its rapidly expanding operations.
One of the largest credit unions in the Midwest CCU services over 50,000 Members and manages more than half a billion dollars in assets. While 2008 has not been kind to many financial institutions, CCU has grown considerably, recently breaking ground on its newest branch office - its seventh. To manage its growth cost-effectively and with maximum flexibility, CCU is building out virtualized IT infrastructure. The credit union currently has 30 virtual machines running on three physical hosts, for a 10:1 server consolidation ratio. The company's business-critical applications are running in the virtualized environment, including helpdesk management, RSA multi-factor authentication, Fiserv IntellegEnt CRM, mortgage origination, loan collections, Crystal Reports from Business Objects, and Summit Teller Advantage for in-branch transaction management.
"We don't have the IT resources of a huge bank so we have to work much smarter and more efficiently to provide our Members with the service they expect," said Michael J. Mikkelson, vice president of technology at Consumers Credit Union. "VMware Infrastructure has allowed us to replace a nightmare of cables in our datacenter with a more manageable, flexible and robust environment. Virtualization is also helping us make much better use of our datacenter space. A year ago, we were maxed out. There literally wasn't an available power outlet in the datacenter. Today, thanks to VMware, we actually have space, power and racks to spare."
CCU is also using VMware VirtualCenter to monitor and manage its entire virtual infrastructure, and VMware's server templates have enabled CCU to provision virtual machines in 20 minutes rather than the full day it takes to set up a new box. Mikkelson noted that these efficiency gains are freeing up the IT staff to focus on more strategic initiatives rather than spend valuable time on application and server management.
In addition, CCU is leveraging virtualization to bring disaster recovery in-house for the first time in the company's history. "Prior to going virtual, we had to outsource much of our disaster recovery," said Mikkelson. "Now we can replicate every critical application and data store via our SAN thanks to VMware. A hardware-based approach to disaster recovery wouldn't be possible for an institution of our size. Virtualization has really helped us stretch our budget and our resources. In fact, while we're already realizing substantial cost savings by consolidating 10 applications onto each box, we have plenty of processor capacity for even more consolidation."
It is now standard procedure for CCU to virtualize new applications. The 30 virtual machines running on VMware Infrastructure today support a combination of Windows, Red Hat Linux and Novell SUSE Linux applications. In addition, the public-facing server that supports CCU's online banking system is running on VMware Server, which replaced Microsoft Virtual Server. The switch was made to save money and improve system manageability.