Customer stories

Western Washington University logoWestern Washington University

OpenText Migrate instrumental in platform and support consolidation resulting in 50% cost savings and 25% reduced power consumption

Western Washington University logo

Products and services


  • Seamless migration of 250+ diverse server workloads without business disruption
  • Realized 50% licensing cost savings
  • Supported the university’s sustainability commitment with 25% reduced power consumption
  • Automation and ease-of-use minimized migration project duration


Safely migrate workload of 250+ virtual machines to a new environment without causing business disruption or risk.


Need for cost savings and sustainability prompts workload migration

All educational institutions are under constant financial pressure and, as a result, they typically employ a lean IT staff, so efficiencies need to be made through the clever use of technology and automation. Western Washington University had been running its IT infrastructure as a hyperconverged framework, integrating storage, computing, and networking into a single system to reduce data center complexity and increase scalability.

The team worked with VMware and Nutanix, and as Jon Junell, IT Associate Director and Principal IT Architect for Western Washington University, explains, a change was needed: “We were facing significant cost increases from our existing IT partners. In addition, as a university we are focused on sustainability, and we wanted to reduce our physical footprint as much as possible. We work extensively with Microsoft, having used Office 365 for over a decade, and Teams as our unified communications platform, so in discussion with them we decided to migrate our various server workloads to Microsoft Azure Stack HCI. The additional support for this was already included in our Microsoft unified support agreement, so it made a lot of financial sense to us. Next up was a decision on how to migrate our very diverse virtual machine workloads to this new environment, with minimum business disruption and risk.”

Leveraging Migrate, we reduced the number of our virtualization hosts by 20 percent and our overall power consumption by 25 percent. In addition, the platform consolidation saves over 50 percent on licensing costs.

Jon Junell
IT Associate Director and Principal IT Architect, Western Washington University

Seamless migration of diverse server workloads with Migrate

Junell and his team explored various options but found that most vendors just offered a simple backup and restore function, with little support or migration guidance. With over 400 virtual machines and more than 250 workloads to migrate, the team felt they needed a more structured and proven approach and were delighted when they found Migrate. This is designed to easily migrate physical, virtual, and cloud workloads of any size and complexity to and from any environment with minimal risk and near-zero downtime. “We were amazed to find one vendor who could do exactly what we needed,” says Junell. “We had some scoping calls and a demo, and then during a proof-of-concept (POC) it was clear that even my least technically savvy staff were very comfortable with Migrate. More importantly, it delivered exactly what Micro Focus (now OpenText) said it would!”

Western Washington University runs complex workloads that leverage a lot of containerization. The team was supported by OpenText (formerly Carbonite) professional services consultant to guide them through these migrations. One of the projects was with the library team, migrating a digital asset library management system that runs entirely in containers. Even though these migrations need a little pre-work and experience, the basis remains the same: shut down the container service, replicate it to the new environment, turn it back on, and move on to the next workload. As part of Migrate, migration configuration and management are automated and orchestrated leveraging an easy-to-use central console.

“We have a real mix of workloads, ranging from Linux and Windows to middleware, SQL and Oracle databases, and lots of web servers,” comments Junell. “It was key that we minimized disruption to our server owners, and of course, ultimately to our students. Leveraging Migrate, our server owners were amazed by how quickly we returned their workload to them in the new environment, often within 15 minutes or so, without any significant service impact. This created a positive impression of the migration with our internal stakeholders. The automation also meant that our engineers could return to their regular jobs a lot faster than we had anticipated.”

50% license cost savings and 25% reduced power consumption

In total, some 120 terabytes worth of virtualization workloads were successfully migrated to Azure Stack HCI. When asked about the realized benefits, Junell is enthusiastic: “Leveraging Migrate, we reduced the number of our virtualization hosts by 20 percent and our overall power consumption by 25 percent. In addition, the platform consolidation saves over 50 percent in licensing costs, and of course the support for our new environment is already covered by our Microsoft support agreement, so a great cost saving there too.”

He concludes: “Expertly guided by Carbonite (now OpenText) professional services, we used Migrate to seamlessly move over 400 server workloads to a much more cost-effective environment, saving us considerable costs and reducing our carbon footprint in line with our university’s sustainability objectives. We did all this with minimum disruption to the business and without inconveniencing our students.”

About Western Washington University

Western Washington University logo

As Washington’s third largest public university, Western Washington University is a beacon of higher education, offering a comprehensive array of academic programs at its main campus in Bellingham. Western Washington University is renowned for its steadfast commitment to sustainability, exemplified by its ranking as one of the nation’s top 15 green colleges. Through innovative initiatives, comprehensive waste reduction programs, and a strong emphasis on renewable energy sources, Western Washington University has established itself as a leader in environmentally conscious practices within higher education.