Summary:When Financial Technologies brought 78 servers to just two, project also cleared up 26 sqft of prime real estate which alone saved Rs 2.5 Lakh in space - enough to buy two servers.Highlights:The virtualization project not only cleared up 26 sqft of prime real estate, it also brought down the number of physical servers from 78 to two. By adding thin provisioning and data de-duplication into the virtualization mix, Financial Technologies salvaged almost 2Tb worth of storage.Reader ROI:How virtualization can help bring down real estate expensesHow thin provisioning and de duplication can further aid virtualization projectsOrganization: When he started a virtualization project in 2009, Keshav Samant, VP and head-IT of Mumbai-based Financial Technologies was operating in the 10th most-expensive real estate market in the world. So it makes sense that his project saved his company about Rs 2.5 lakh in space. That\u2019s enough\u00a0 dough to fund a couple of new servers.\u201cThere is no discounting the fact that because we went virtual with some of our established initiatives, we were ready with space for the newer ones."Thing was, Samant wasn\u2019t in the market for new servers. He did however want to help the $1.27 billion (about Rs 5,700 crore) technology provider expand its business. Financial Technologies\u2019 (FTIL) work forms the backbone for a number of international exchanges including Dubai\u2019s Gold and Commodities Exchange and Singapore\u2019s Mercantile Exchange. In India, it runs the Multi Commodity Exchange (which trades oil seeds, cereal, pulses, etcetera) and online trader Sharekhan, among a number of others.Business case: But Financial Technologies wanted to do more. Much more, if it wanted to maintain it\u2019s position as the fastest-growing company in its space. And it could do that by helping exchanges expand by adding new asset classes (like interest rate derivatives) or by creating networks of exchanges. But to do so, it needed to boost its own capacities and it had exhausted all the available space in its datacenter.Project: That\u2019s when Samant turned to virtualization. \u201cWe realized that virtualization could boost the functional capabilities of our datacenter without a significant impact on operational and infrastructure expenditure,\u201d he says. True to his prediction, his virtualization project not only cleared up 26 sqft of prime real estate, it also brought down the number of physical servers from 78 to two. Now Financial Technologies runs 40 virtual machines on two physical servers each. Importantly, the rack space and some of the servers Samant saved were used to roll out new mission-critical initiatives and services which could not run on virtual machines. \u201cThere is no discounting the fact that because we went virtual with some of our established initiatives, we were ready with space for the newer ones,\u201d says Samant. As for the physical servers he freed up, some were scrapped, and the rest arebeing used for real-time testing, which Samant prefers not to run on virtual machines. In the meanwhile, by avoiding buying newservers, Samant saved FTIL over Rs 1 crore in one year. \u201cThere is no discounting the fact that because we went virtual with some of our established initiatives, we were ready with space for the newer ones. Benefits: And apart from popular virtualization benefits like the ability to provision new virtual servers in 15 minutes, and reducing recovery time by 90 percent, the project also trims operational expenditure. By cutting down electricity consumption, lowering server AMC costs, trimming manpower needs, FTIL estimates it will save above Rs 1 crore over the next three years. And by adding thin provisioning and data de-duplication into the mix, Samant salvaged almost 2TB worth of storage. \u201cWe have not bought a single disk array box in the last nine months,\u201d he says.Looking at it holistically, Samant says that FTIL\u2019s initial investment in virtualization\u2014 which amounted to just under Rs 1 crore including two servers and VMware licenses \u2014 was a reasonable price to pay for the long-term benefits it has received in return. And, of course, there is the comfort of staying put in the financial nerve center of India.