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New CDW Server Virtualization Assessments Enable Adoption and Highlight Cost Savings

CDW’s new Server Virtualization Assessments are based on VMware capacity planning tools, at no cost to qualifying participants VERNON HILLS, Ill.  – April 27, 2009 – CDW Corporation, a leading provider of technology products and services to business, government and education, today announced an assessment services offering that enables qualifying medium and large organizations to consider the potential benefits of server virtualization at no cost and with minimal effort required from the participant.  The core of the offerings – developed and refined by CDW’s virtualization assessment team working with a number of customers during 2008 and early 2009 – include a Self-Guided Assessment (SGA) and a Server Virtualization Assessment (SVA).
“The current economic climate is leading all organizations to want to drive costs down, but reducing costs does not always mean doing less.  Server virtualization reduces costs, but also increases data center capacity and resilience,” said Pat Scheckel, vice president, Solution Practices, CDW.  “CDW’s Server Virtualization Assessment services help information technology managers determine the benefits of virtualization in concrete, realistic terms for their unique facilities.”
CDW’s newly-expanded Server Virtualization offerings to qualifying medium and large organizations include:

    * Self-Guided Assessment (SGA) – This is a quick and simple self-guided server virtualization assessment.  CDW provides instructions to install a data collection tool, allowing customers to manage the installation and data collection at their own pace.  CDW’s server/storage specialists then use the findings gathered by the assessment tool to build and recommend a custom Server Virtualization solution for the customer.
    * Server Virtualization Assessment (SVA) – This is a detailed engagement that leverages the expertise of CDW’s virtualization assessment team to assist in the installation of the data collection tool in complex environments that include large server populations or multiple data centers.  Following data collection, the assessment team works with CDW server/storage specialists to develop a comprehensive virtualization solution, from hardware to software and services, tailored for each customer’s unique circumstances.

Because the implementation of server virtualization typically produces significant reductions in power and cooling, CDW’s SVA also includes a “green benefit” estimate, reflecting the associated impact of the recommended project on the organization’s carbon footprint.
CDW Accelerates Virtualization Adoption at Mercy Health System
According to Bryan Langer, network manager at Wisconsin-based Mercy Health System, server virtualization was a topic of discussion for several years, based upon general expectations of both technical and cost benefits.  However, the discussion always stopped short of action as executives remained uncertain of the projected benefits.
The concept accelerated quickly from discussion to reality for Mercy Health System following a virtualization assessment from CDW in December 2008.  “The assessment didn’t just get our foot in the virtualization door, it allowed us to walk right through it,” Langer said.
Mercy Health System’s virtualization assessment identified the potential to reduce the number of physical servers from 131 to 7 – a reduction ratio of greater than 90 percent – and recommended a blade server strategy that would even further reduce power and cooling costs.  The virtualization assessment enabled Langer and his team to illustrate virtualization’s positive impact on the data center.
“We were able to present to our senior management with an attractive return on investment and a very short payback period,” Langer said. “Even after the assessment was completed, the CDW team went well beyond our expectations.  Their value-added service was instrumental in getting to a final decision.”
Badgerland Financial Finds Virtualization a Strong Investment
Badgerland Financial, a financial services cooperative serving rural Wisconsin, had considered virtualizing its servers for several years, but before investing, the firm’s management wanted concrete, credible savings data that recognized the firm’s entire IT environment.
“For a long time, we were only looking at selective pieces of the puzzle and extrapolating, but CDW’s Server Virtualization Assessment enabled us to look at the whole picture,” said Brian Marquardt, Badgerland Financial’s senior network engineer.
Following a three-week assessment, CDW reported that Badgerland Financial could reduce its physical servers from 41 to 4, a reduction ratio of greater than 90 percent.  In addition to reducing the physical space required, the recommended solution would also generate an estimated $30,000 annual reduction in power and cooling costs.
“The assessment provides a great picture of server utilization, and it is customized to deliver exactly what we were looking for,” said Jerry Wiese, vice president of technical services at Badgerland Financial.  “We knew there would be savings, but when it’s illustrated the way CDW laid it out, it becomes an invaluable tool to take to senior management to demonstrate the real benefit of virtualization.”
CDW and VMware:  Much More Than Virtualization Partners
“CDW’s professional services consultants who are a part of the VMware Authorized Consultant (VAC) Program have provided over 300 virtualization assessments and over 150 server virtualization engagements since 2003.  We are gratified by the overwhelmingly positive response from our customers,” said Scott Severson, director of CDW’s server/storage/virtualization solutions practice.  “Our goal is to help customers do what is precisely right for their facilities, and the results confirm these services are doing just that.”
Severson added that server virtualization is a highly productive investment that saves most organizations significant money on energy, management and support.  The payback periods are typically very short, but for organizations that are concerned about initial costs, virtualization can sometimes be defrayed in part by rebates from the customer’s local utility or related organizations.  Often, CDW’s virtualization assessment team can help direct customers toward such funding sources.
CDW is among a handful of VMware Partners worldwide to provide Capacity Planner assessments remotely, along with a detailed solution recommendation tailored for each customer; CDW is the second largest reseller of VMware worldwide, and over 1,300 CDW account managers are certified as VMware Sales Professionals.  CDW also serves as a member of the VMware Partner Technical Advisory Board (PTAB), which includes the top 25 VMware Partners in the United States.  At VMware’s 2009 Partner Exchange, CDW was named VMware’s Corporate Reseller of the Year, and CDW-G was named its Federal Partner of the Year.
For more information about CDW’s virtualization solutions, visit
About CDW
CDW is a leading provider of technology solutions for business, government and education. Ranked No. 34 on Forbes’ list of America’s Largest Private Companies, CDW features dedicated account managers who help customers choose the right technology products and services to meet their needs. The company’s technology specialists offer expertise in designing customized solutions, while its advanced technology engineers can assist customers with the implementation and long-term management of those solutions. Areas of focus include notebooks, desktops, printers, servers and storage, unified communications, security, wireless, power and cooling, networking, software licensing and mobility solutions.
CDW was founded in 1984 and as of December 31, 2008 employed approximately 6,850 coworkers. In 2008, the company generated sales of $8.1 billion. For more information, visit

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