It’s always very validating to have customers come back to you with positive feedback and evidence that what you worked so hard to build is adding value to their business. We’re fresh off the launch of System Center Essentials 2010 and Data Protection Manager 2010, so we’ve been out talking to early-adopter customers to get their feedback on how this new virtualization and IT management solution is helping their business bottom line.

image One early-adopter customer is Explorer Pipeline,  a Tulsa, Oklahoma–based company operating a 1,900-mile pipeline that transports gasoline, diesel fuel, and jet fuel between the Gulf Coast and the Midwest.

The IT department at Explorer Pipeline manages 235 desktop and portable computers that run a mix of the Windows XP Service Pack 3 and the Windows 7 operating systems. It also manages 32 physical servers—25 at its Tulsa headquarters and one at each of its seven branch offices—that run a mix of the Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 R2 operating systems.

The four-person IT staff at Explorer Pipeline was looking for ways to simplify IT management and improve efficiency for the company’s distributed IT environment. First, the company cut costs by consolidating several server workloads using Windows Server 2008 R2 and Hyper-V virtualization technology. Next, Explorer Pipeline upgraded to Microsoft System Center Essentials 2010, which simplifies the complexity of managing both physical and virtual servers with a single integrated solution. Finally, to help critical business data, the company upgraded to Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager 2010 for centralized backup and recovery of virtual and physical servers as well as client computers.

So what are the benefits to using this solution? Here are some great quotes from one of their IT administrators:

“The power savings we’re seeing with Hyper-V is staggering. In some cases, it’s up to 600 percent savings for a server. ...”

“One of the great things about System Center Essentials 2010 is that it gives me the granular control I need to manage our IT infrastructure the way that our business demands—it’s incredibly flexible.”

    - Tim Vander Kooi, Systems Administrator, Explorer Pipeline

Check out the full Explorer Pipeline case study here

Click on the company logos below to check out some more midsize business case studies:

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So, what’s the bottom line?


  • Reduced power costs
  • Greater control of IT environment
  • Increased IT efficiency with a simplified environment

If you haven’t tried them already, as Mikey from the ‘70’s Life cereal commercials said, “Try it, you’ll like it!”

Let us know what you think!

As always - thanks for reading to the finish line...


David Mills

Sr. Product Manager

System Center

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