Merrill Lynch Inks Deal With VMware

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-01-06 Print this article Print

Merrill will deploy VMware's "virtual machine" software throughout its production environments and on more than 27,000 desktops.

Merrill Lynch & Co., a leading Wall Street brokerage and financial management company in New York, is deploying "virtual machine" software from VMware Inc. throughout its production environments and on more than 27,000 desktops. Merrill and VMware have inked a deal that allows Merrill to standardize on VMware virtual machine software, which enables multiple copies of an operating system to run on the same hardware platform. The agreement, announced on Monday, follows Merrills announcement last November that it was replacing all of the workstations used by its retail brokers and financial advisers with new Wealth Management Workstations built by Thomson Financial.
The new workstations are based on Microsoft Corp.s Windows XP platform and are faster and more reliable than the current ones, which are based on Windows NT and Windows 2000.
To help ensure a smooth transition, Merrill turned to VMware. John McKinley, the chief technology officer at Merrill Lynch, said the VMware virtual machine software for Windows helped the company solve a variety of challenging IT issues. The company, using VMware Workstation, was able to migrate to Windows XP while running mission-critical legacy applications on Windows NT. "By embracing virtualization technology and standardizing on VMware for managing our software development environments, Merrill Lynch has seen a 40 to 50 percent cost savings," he said. Merrill Lynch also consolidated the workloads of five servers onto one scalable, reliable enterprise-class server, saving money on hardware and maintenance costs as well as being able to streamline development and test processes in its production environment, McKinley said. By continuing to consolidate the workloads of multiple servers, VMware is expected to save Merrill $2 million in hardware costs alone over the next five years, he said. Diane Greene, the president and chief executive officer of Vmware, based in Palo Alto, Calif., said she looked forward to growing the relationship with Merrill as it "expands the places where our products are saving them time and money."
Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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