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VMware Platform Helps Independence Blue Cross Improve Performance and System Reliability


PALO ALTO, Calif. – VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW), the global leader in virtualization solutions from the desktop to the datacenter, today announced that Independence Blue Cross (IBC), the largest health insurer in Philadelphia, is using VMware’s industry-leading datacenter virtualization and management suite, VMware Infrastructure 3, to improve the efficiency of its business operations.

IBC covers 3.4 million members and processes more than 32 million claims each year. As the company has grown, IBC found its computing environment becoming increasingly cumbersome and expensive to maintain. Server sprawl was eating up space and increasing power consumption at unsustainable levels, and the cost of acquiring and managing so much hardware was pushing IT budgets to the limit. To reverse these trends and take control of its infrastructure, IBC turned to VMware.

“We needed a cost-effective solution that would manage server sprawl, and ensure we had a high-performance application environment that could handle our business as it grew,” said Michael Garber, director, distributed infrastructure, at Independence Blue Cross. “VMware met these needs. In fact, the performance of many of our Microsoft applications have actually improved since we started running them on the VMware platform. The product has paid for itself in less than 16 months and helped us avoid more than $1 million in hardware costs.”

IBC has virtualized approximately 70 percent of its Windows-based applications, including business-critical systems involving claims authorization and processing, billing, and member enrollments. Specific applications that have been virtualized include Active Directory, Exchange, SharePoint and SQL Server as well as PeopleSoft and Oracle 9i.

“We now have 386 virtual machines running on 48 physical hosts,” said Garber. “We’ve increased our processor utilization from 5 percent to 75 percent, and we still have extra horsepower to add more virtual machines.”

VMware DRS and VMotion – unique VMware capabilities – aggregate hardware resources into logical resource pools and dynamically allocate them to applications that need them most. When a virtual machine experiences an increased load, VMware DRS automatically allocates additional resources by redistributing virtual machines among the physical servers in the resource pool. The live migration of virtual machines across the resource pools is executed by VMotion.


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