When we are selling, designing and/or building a virtual infrastructure, we brag about consolidation ratios we can accomplish.

But what’s a consolidation ratio of 8 to 1 or 10 to 1? In this case a picture says more than a thousand words ……..

On the right a part of the servers we collected during a recent VMware implementation.

28 servers, 4 more are placed on the left (out of sight), 7 are stored on an alternate location and 7 will be decommissioned when the WAN issues are solved.


A grand total of 46 servers which do NOT need power, cooling, support contracts, space, etc.


But what has been deployed to replace all 46 servers? Encircled in red:

  • 4x Dell PowerEdge R805 servers with:
    • 2 quad core CPUs;
    • 64GB RAM;
    • 12 network interfaces;
  • 5x Cisco 3750 switches;
  • 4x Dell EqualLogic iSCSI storage arrays.

This means a consolidation ratio of almost 12 to 1.

Those 4 ESX hosts are now hosting between 32 and 40 virtual machines, 11 of which are terminal servers.