When Cancer Research UK picked VMware to virtualise its infrastructure, the organisation's head of infrastructure, Mick Briggs, believed that "there wasn't really much other choice".
"If you want to run virtual machines and you want to do more than simply virtualise them - which we do - then there is only one choice and that's VMware," Briggs told Computing.
"I've used other virtualisation technologies, and I can virtualise servers and run them, but that's about it, there isn't the thought of how cloud is developing in anybody else's product," he said.
Cancer Research UK started using VMware before a full virtualisation strategy was put into place in 2007/2008. This led to the organisation being almost 95 per cent virtualised by 2011.
It now has 500 to 600 virtual machines on a permanent basis, with another 100 that spin up and down at any given time.
But Briggs believes that the work with VMware has more to it than virtualising machines.
"What we're doing and where we're moving to is capturing the possibilities of what cloud is good at developing, and we want to extract our infrastructure layer to the point where VMware is our infrastructure, and then we can work with the V-Cloud suite to hook into other vendors' clouds," he said.
"From our business's perspective [the user and development community], they don't need to worry about what we're connecting to, what infrastructure I'm using on the backend, I can put servers where I need them, as long as it follows a set of standards, and in our case that's VMware," he added.
Briggs explained that if any business had all of its equipment stored in a co-located data centre, and it couldn't hook up to other people's clouds, then it would inevitably means that those data centres would have to hold an overhead of infrastructure that the organisation doesn't need.
With VMware, Cancer Research UK can ensure it is using its infrastructure to its maximum capacity.
"I want to be able to squeeze every hour out of the machines that I buy," Briggs said.