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Virtualization Replaces 37 Physical Servers


GSC turned a batch server hardware failure that threatened to stop production into an opportunity to improve reliability  plantwide.


Server virtualization replaced 37 servers, supported by a cluster of three high-end servers with high availability and no single point of failure.


Applications run virtually, independent of hardware.  Automatic load-balancing results in faster response times and virtual workload execution.


In addition, the reduction in the number of servers yields significant energy savings.



GCS is a long-time automation partner of this Animal Health pharmaceuitcal manufacturer.  At their local plant, intelligent batching software residing on redundant servers was responsible for batch sequencing and recipe download.  The facility had a large implementation of Wonderware InTouch, Wonderware Historian running on multiple redundant Terminal Server. When a hardware failure threatened to shut down production, GCS proposed a server virtualization solution.


The GCS team, knowledgeable about new technology at all levels of plant architecture, implemented a virtual server infracstructure to take over critical functions until the servers were stabilized.  By then the customer realized that relying on the 10-year-old servers was too great a risk and decided on plant-wide server virtualization.  


GCS provided all hardware and services for the virtualization, which replaced 37 physical plant servers. The new architecture is based on a high-availability virtual server powered by 3 high-end Dell servers with SAN disks and Ethernet Switching.


VMware High Availability and Data Recovery products ensure reliability.  VMware vMotion™ technology supports real-time, no-downtime migration of running virtual machines from one server to another for load balancing and maintenance.  


Redundancy with no single point of failure and the faster response time of balanced virtual workloads are only the beginning of the benefits.  The much smaller footprint of the data center results in significant energy cost savings.  New applications can be brought on-line with dynamic capacity adjustment of the virtual server instead of purchase and configuration of a new server.  Applications run independently of hardware, eliminating the possibility of conflicts.


Overall, the customer gained much greater control over effective provision of IT services as well as on-going cost savings.  GCS helped turn a near-disaster into an opportunity to reap the benefits of leading-edge technology.