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Windows Server Migration

Hyper-V is Right on Target!

Target tested VMware ESX back in 2005, but found that the Microsoft server solution gave the company everything it needed in terms of virtualization at lower cost.

    "We found that Hyper-V and Dell offered a platform that proved we could run our mission-critical store applications in our highest-volume stores from a transaction perspective," says Brad Thompson, Director of Infrastructure Engineering at retail giant Target.  Migrating to Windows Server 2008 Datacenter Edition with Hyper-V virtualization technology allowed Target to reduce the number of servers per store location from seven down to two, thus retiring 8,650 servers and saving millions of dollars in hardware, electrical and maintenance costs.

    Target had tested VMware ESX back in 2005 but found that the Microsoft server solution gave the company everything it needed in terms of virtualization at lower cost. While they have dramatically lowered their physical server count, Target current runs more than 15,000 virtual machines leading them to see their Windows Server 2008 Datacenter as a key cost-optimization strategy for Target moving forward.

    The scale of Target's migration was complicated by the small window of opportunity the Target Technology Services team has between close of business on one day and start of the business the next morning.  To achieve the migration within that time frame they scripted the entire conversion so the migration could be done remotely.  The remarkable process they developed ended up being an in-place upgrade performed completely hands-off with none of their team members traveling to the store location.

    Target selected Dell R710 servers as hosts running Hyper-V and Dell MD1000 storage units.  After several pilots Dell was selected because it offered a platform that could run their mission-critical store applications even in the highest-transaction-volume stores in their chain.

    The Target Technology Team is pleased with the reduction in costs, their increased ability to support the business, and the increased assuredness of continuity of their business. 

    “After deploying Hyper-V, we have fewer physical boxes, which means fewer points of failure,” says Thompson. “Now that we have virtualized our POS application, we can build redundancy by replicating the application on both Hyper-V host servers. It’s capabilities like this that give us the confidence to run our business-critical applications in the stores on Hyper-V.”

    Click here to read this entire case study.


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