If you were able to catch my keynote on Monday (either in person, or on demand), you got to see a pretty remarkable story from Domino’s Pizza.

I’ve been thinking a lot about Dominos ever since last summer when I had lunch at one of India’s 500+ Domino’s locations. My wife and I had traveled there to pick up our oldest daughter after she spent the month of July volunteering at a leper colony in the city of Chenai. It was a great meal and a great local interpretation of an American staple.

The great work Domino’s is doing in India is a story all its own, but consider these two high level stats about the company:

  • On an average day, Domino’s sells 1 million pizzas worldwide.
  • One-third of its business (more than $1 billion in 2012) comes from online orders.

To manage this critical part of its business, Domino’s has deployed two physical hosts per store and one VM that runs its POS system (built on SQL Express) – for a total of 15,000 machines across Domino’s nearly 5,000 U.S. locations. What’s amazing about this setup is how incredibly efficient it is: With Hyper-V and System Center, the entire Domino’s network is managed by two administrators – just two!

When I heard that Domino’s sells 1 million pizzas on an average day, the very first question that came to my mind was, “I wonder how many pizzas they sell during the Super Bowl!” For a leading brand like Domino’s, there’s no bigger test than the tidal wave of orders that come in on Super Bowl Sunday, and I loved hearing the IT Professionals at Dominos describe how vital System Center is in verifying that the company is ready for this spike. On game day, this system is able to flawlessly manage a surge in pizza orders that reaches 11 million slices and 2.5 million wings.

11 million slices and 2.5 million wings – there has to be some fun facts around that, right? Sure enough: Dominos figures that their drivers traveled the equivalent of 300 round trips between San Francisco and Baltimore (the two teams that met in the Super Bowl this year) in order to deliver all this great food, and, if you were to lay out all that pizza, it would stretch across 5,000 football fields. Wow!

From Domino’s perspective, the best part of this solution is that it allows its restaurants to focus on what they do best, rather than splitting time and effort between pizzas and troubleshooting IT. Since they made the switch to Hyper-V from another virtualization solution, the reliability and availability of Dominos’ system has skyrocketed and reliability-related help-desk calls have dropped by 99%.

During their performance benchmarking of virtualization contenders, Domino’s found that Hyper-V delivered 28% faster hard drive writes and 36% faster memory speeds than its competitors, and it allowed utilization of additional processor cores.  This is an incredible example of what Microsoft and Hyper-V can deliver – a seamless, efficient and cost-effective solution for a complex and unique business.

To learn more about Domino’s incredible system, check out the announcement from Monday – and watch the video below.