Posted by Openness Team

FCO Services LogoFCO (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) Services provides IT services to the UK Government, including a global network of embassies and consulates, which employs people in nearly 270 diplomatic offices worldwide.

Last year, FCO Services delivered hosting and cloud services primarily on a VMware vSphere-based infrastructure, which ran workloads on both Windows and Linux operating systems. However, because FCO Services also virtualized some Windows workloads with Microsoft Hyper-V, maintaining a dual-hypervisor environment was expensive.

FCO Services decided to participate in the Microsoft Rapid Deployment Program (RDP) for Windows Server 2012 R2 and Microsoft System Center 2012 R2, with particular interest in evaluating the newly enhanced support for Linux.

Windows Server 2012 R2 features expanded Linux integration components, a set of drivers that Microsoft has contributed to the Linux kernel that improves performance and functionality of virtualized Linux instances running on Hyper-V. “Having this new functionality makes the deployment of Linux workloads a lot easier,” says Nic Fuller, Technical Architect for FCO Services.

The implementation is going so well that FCO Services is currently expanding its Hyper-V cluster to run production workloads—about 60 Linux-based virtual machines (running the CentOS Linux distribution and Red Hat Enterprise Linux) and 300 Windows-based virtual machines.

For more on how this solution is helping the UK Government save money and improve infrastructure utilization, please see the complete FCO Services case study.