Target Virtualizes Store Workloads with Microsoft Tools

Target uses Microsoft's Systems Center and Hyper-V technology to virtualize and manage business-critical systems for its retail operation.

Microsoft announced March 21 that Target is using Microsoft's Hyper-V and Systems Center technology to virtualize the machines running its core business-critical applications.

At the Microsoft Management Summit 2011 in Las Vegas, Microsoft announced that Target is running business-critical workloads for all its retail stores on 15,000 virtual machines using Microsoft virtualization and management technologies, giving its IT department greater agility and economies of scale. The second-largest discount retailer in the U.S., Target has virtualized inventory, point-of-sale, supply-chain management, asset protection, in-store digital media and more on Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V and Microsoft System Center.

"Target's investment in Hyper-V is a result of the strong technology partnership between our two companies," said Jeff Mader, vice president, Target Technology Services, in a statement. "With Hyper-V, Target can reduce our stores' server footprints without sacrificing the mission-critical application performance that contributes to a superior retail experience for our guests."

Based in Minneapolis, Minn., Target serves guests at 1,755 stores in 49 states and operates 37 national distribution centers. Earlier this year, Target scaled its deployment of Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V to every U.S. store in the chain. Applications, ranging from Microsoft SQL Server 2008 SP1, SharePoint 2007 and Exchange 2007 to third-party, line-of-business software, can now be deployed and managed more quickly, with 8,650 fewer physical servers to maintain, power and refresh.

Microsoft said Target also has implemented the Microsoft System Center management platform to manage and patch more than 300,000 endpoints, ranging from servers and PCs to mobile inventory devices and point-of-sale registers. System Center provides the automation, insight and data to help ensure Target guests can quickly find the products they need at the lowest possible cost and check out without delay.

"Target is just one example of the kind of large-scale deployments we're seeing with Microsoft Hyper-V and Microsoft System Center," said Brad Anderson, corporate vice president of the Management and Security Division at Microsoft, in a statement. "Particularly as organizations are contemplating cloud computing, they find comfort in knowing the Microsoft platform can virtualize and manage all kinds of applications-Microsoft's, a third party's or home-grown-on a massive scale."

Target and other Microsoft customers and partners will be onsite at the Microsoft Management Summit 2011, March 21-25. More details on Target's use of Microsoft virtualization and management are available at