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Linux Containers Authors: Elizabeth White, Zakia Bouachraoui, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski

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Another K-12 School System Deploys Virtual Iron

The Bonneville Joint School District in Idaho is one of several K-12 school systems leveraging Virtual Iron to reduce power, cooling and space requirements and increase server utilization while supporting an ever increasing demand for computing services. The seventh largest school system in Idaho, Bonneville serves approximately 9,300 students and employs more than 1,200 faculty and staff. The district has 12 elementary schools, three middle schools for grades 7-8 and three high schools for grades 9-12. The district also sponsors a school at the Behavioral Health Center and a K-8 charter school, and provides services for a comprehensive special education program. Lane Virgin, Bonneville’s system administrator has seen the addition of four new elementary schools in his six years with the school district. It is projected that in the next five years the school district will add two more elementary schools, a middle school and a high school. This rapid growth has created more and more pressure on the IT infrastructure and support team. Virgin and the IT team at the school district support a variety of different systems and applications. The data center includes four server racks, two battery back-ups, more than 20 Dell Servers, two Gateway servers, two Dell EqualLogic SAN Arrays, one DVR, three Linux Servers, HP ProCurve Switches, Exchange 2007, print servers, application servers, file servers, IIS servers, Domain Controllers, and SQI servers. During the summer of 2008 an HVAC and power upgrade was completed, bringing circuit power from 75 to 225 Amps. A natural gas generator was also added. In addition, the physical rack space in the data center was a growing problem since hardware would always be added to handle a new system or application. And, some servers were not even running at full potential and were very inefficient from a heating perspective. All of these issues and workloads were pushing the limits of the infrastructure — power, cooling, networking and administration. The IT infrastructure was simply not keeping pace as the school district’s need for computing power increased. The data center had become outdated. In 2007, Lane Virgin began researching the available server virtualization technologies. He was then introduced to Virtual Iron and quickly realized how clean and easy to use the Virtual Iron design was. Lane dove in immediately and within ten minutes had Virtual Iron’s virtualization management platform, VI-Center, installed on a Dell 1855 Blade Server. According to Lane, he “never looked back” once he started using Virtual Iron. Today, Virtual Iron, in concert with Dell servers and Dell/EqualLogic storage is providing the school department’s IT team with a proven and cost-effective server virtualization platform that delivers a number of benefits including: - Significant server consolidation - Faster provisioning and deployment of new systems - Business continuity for all applications - Reduced administrative time, effort and expense For the complete case study, click here .

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