Fortune 50 Bank Saves $5.5 Million in
Microsoft® Windows® Server Processor-based License Renewals

Cirba's Software License Control System reduces license requirements by one third.

The Challenge: Pending License Renewal Threatens to Increase Costs

With a Windows® Server Datacenter edition license renewal approaching, the CTO of one of the world's largest banks saw there was a high risk for significant cost increases. The bank's leadership knew that processor-based software licensing for virtual infrastructure represented both an opportunity and a challenge for the organization. Processor-base licensing could enable the bank to take advantage of economies of scale and run more VMs per licensed physical host, saving the organization on Windows® Server licensing. Unfortunately, the bank had no way of determining whether they really required Windows® Server licenses for the 4,000 physical hosts that were currently licensed. Not only that, the cost issue was about to be exacerbated with environment growth and potential further sprawl throughout the data center.

An understanding of the bank's true licensing requirement was needed, but the team had no ability to understand how to place VMs in such a way as to reduce the license requirement – immediately or in the future.

The Solution: Optimized VM Placements Shrink License Requirements for Immediate Savings

Cirba's Software-Defined Infrastructure Control was chosen by the bank to address the issue. Cirba's Software License Control module is part of the solution's Control Console and enables organizations to optimize VM sizing and placements considering all the utilization, technical, business and operational requirements, including software licensing. The bank recognized the value of Cirba brought in terms of balancing application demand with infrastructure supply to increase efficiency and agility while reducing performance and operational risk. Due to tight renewal timelines, Windows® Server software licensing optimization became the top priority.

Within a few short weeks, Cirba was deployed and the analysis was completed to identify optimal VM placements, which significantly reduced the required Windows® Server footprint in the environment. Cirba accomplished this by isolating the licensed VMs from those not requiring the licenses and maximizing the density of licensed components on physical hosts. By leveraging Cirba to control VM placements on an ongoing basis, the bank ensured Windows® VMs were contained to the licensed physical servers.

  • Before: The bank licensed Windows® Server for 4,000 physical hosts and had no visibility into their actual requirement
  • After: Cirba's analytics found the existing VMs could be run with only 3,400 licensed physical servers which allowed room for growth within the environment

The Results:

The bank was able to cut their Windows® Server license renewal costs by 15% which resulted in USD$5.5 million savings. The initial savings alone were used to justify the purchase of Cirba, without factoring in additional environments to be targeted or hardware savings.

After the initial optimization was completed and savings recognized, the bank used Cirba to automate VM sizing and rebalancing to ensure continual risk mitigation, efficiency and software license optimization and containment. 

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