Virtualization...and Cow Flatulence?

Unless you've been living in a cave, or possibly stunned into a semi-catatonic state by the endless onslaught of TV ads from presidential candidates, you're likely aware that virtualization has helped many organizations save on their energy bills by consolidating once sprawling server populations onto fewer pieces of hardware.

VMware is the market leader in server virtualization, and its competitors -- primarily Microsoft and Citrix -- have been eating the dust of VMware for some time now. Yet based on a new marketing campaign put together by Oriel, an Australian VMWare Enterprise Partner, Citrix and Microsoft may have more airborne contaminants to deal with than lowly dust particles.

Oriel recently launched a Web site called Ain't That the Truth, a colorful marketing site that provides a handy virtualization savings calculator. For example, typing in 37 servers reveals that I could save an estimated $56,883 by performing server consolidation using VMware products. A few of the calculator results seem absurdly high, namely the stat that argues that virtualizing those 37 servers is the equivalent of planting 1,832 trees. My favorite statistic, however, is this one: performing server virtualization has now been linked to a reduction in cow "emissions", which translates into fewer cow burps and a reduction in bovine flatulence.

I don't know if I really want to see how Oriel came up with the magic formula that generates that info, but it sure makes for an amusing mental image. It also serves as the inspiration for a hilarious flash animation that spells out the real benefits of using server virtualization, which you can view in its gaseous entirety on the Ain't That the Truth Web site.

So the next time you have the opportunity to extol the virtues of server consolidation via virtualization, be sure to mention how you can help save the world by reducing the threat of excessive cow emissions.

At least it helps make the planet smell better, anyway.

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