Dan Collins on our move to virtualisation

Our IT manager, Dan Collins, is in the Australian broadsheet today talking about our move over the last year to virtualisation of our servers.

“We have got a much-reduced infrastructure spend in terms of the replacement cycle of hardware,” Mr Collins said. “When you look at what it saved us having to replace over three years, I would say that is about $200,000 worth of equipment.”

There were additional savings on labour costs for maintaining the equipment, along with reduced service calls, he said.

“We have gone down now to three host servers, a massive change from 35, and that has obviously had effects on power and cooling in our server room. It is much quieter than before.”

The museum has cut its technology power costs by 33 per cent . . .

2 replies on “Dan Collins on our move to virtualisation”

I read Dan Collins’ comments with interest. At the Smithsonian we have some applications that are not happy in a cluster environment and which would be even more unhappy in a virtualized environment. What applications do you have running in the virtualized environment and did you re-invest in new software that works better in the virtualized environment? If so what? What virtualization software is Powerhouse using?


We have most of our applications running in the virtualized environment….

We haven’t yet come across an application that hasn’t worked due to it being virtualised. There hasn’t been any additional re-investment to tailor our applications to a virtual system.

We have found that as long as there aren’t any major bottlenecks in the infrastructure…..all is well. Therefore – storage, processing and networking infrastructure are all key.

A quick list of applications –

Postgre SQL
Windows 2003, 2008 and 2000
Various Linux OSs

One system we are yet to test is our Collection Management system – Emu. We hope to get that on board soon.

We are using Vmware vSphere 4.


Dan Collins

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