Guest Post: Going Live with Hyper-V for

Hi, my name is Stephen Nichols, VP of sales and marketing for SoftCom Technology Consulting, which is the company behind, a leading global provider of affordable web, email and application hosting. We have been actively engaged with Microsoft technologies since we began in the hosting industry back in 1997. We are part of Gold Certified Partner program with competencies in Data Management Solutions, Information Worker Solutions, Mobility Solutions and Networking Infrastructure Solutions. Based on our strength and experience in shared hosting we see the greatest opportunity for growth is to build new solutions on this foundation. The development of these solutions will be customer requirement driven and need to be delivered cost effectively and on demand.

The best prospect for future profits is to move beyond commoditized hosting of simple websites sold on large amounts of storage, bandwidth and email addresses. To future proof our business we have begun to offer unique solutions backed by exceptional support. As part of our process to find and develop tools and strategies to differentiate our services in the market, our entire organization was keen to implement some form of Virtual Server Hosting.

In the words of our Operations Manager: “Modern computer systems are extremely powerful, 4 socket, quad core CPUs, these systems are able to support many gigabytes of memory and storage. Running one operating system and a single application on these type of machines would be inefficient. By using virtualization technology, we can consolidate multiple physical servers onto one physical machine.”

We have already implemented virtualization technology within our infrastructure for our internal server needs and saw that server consolidation allows us to have smaller footprint and a lower cost of ownership. Fewer physical servers reduce power consumption both by servers and by the cooling infrastructure, lowering costs and at the same time making our solution “greener.” The next step was to build hosting solution that could take advantage of virtualization technology to provide our customers the tools they need to run their businesses. As not all virtualization platforms are created equally we took our time to find the best fit.

At the end of the day the clear choice for us was to go with Microsoft’s Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V platform. Some of the key factors we evaluated include the following.

Efficient Cost and licensing model: As a Gold Partner under the SPLA model, the licensing for the entire platform was included in one package which made things simple. There is no need to deal with multiple vendor systems for reporting.

Hardware support and flexibility: Within our data center we have several server configurations. Hyper-V support for a wide range of hardware makes it attractive for us. Once we install and configure Windows Server 2008 we enable Hyper-V and we are ready to go.

Server management tools: Hyper-V allows our Operations Team to use the same familiar Microsoft tools to manage both the physical and the virtual server environments in one place.

Reliability and Scalability: We need to be able to balance the needs of the few with the needs of the many. Hyper-V enables us to do this by providing each customer with an independent operating system that can be customized by the customer without affecting other customers.

We have been involved in Go Live Programs with Microsoft in the past so we were eager to participate this time around. The exciting part for is to have access to not only the code but to the team of knowledgeable people at Microsoft to collaborate with. The main benefit so far has been how straightforward it has been to implement an integrated hosted Virtual Server solution.  We are able to offer customers a transactional hosting experience and at the same time provide the latest platform of Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008. Customers get the best of all worlds; a full operating system supported by Microsoft in a virtual environment, 24/7 live support, scalability that is cost effective, and best of all, a solution that just works.


Stephen Nichols
VP, Sales and Marketing
SoftCom Technology Consulting

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