Virtualization in IT has been big in the enterprise market for some time, but its not without its advantages for small and medium-sized operations. Analysts are expecting the adoption of virtualization by SMBs to increase considerably in the months and years ahead. So what’s all the fuss about? For small businesses, the most immediate and obvious benefit offered by virtualization is the cost savings. This is true of businesses of any size, but it is perhaps more critical for SMBs, which naturally have smaller budgets to throw at IT.
Less Hardware = Less Money
By virtualizing IT infrastructure, SMBs stand to save money on hardware and software. If a company needs to implement three new servers, for example, doing so in a virtualized environment doesn’t require the company to purchase three physical servers, set them up and take care of all routine maintenance. Instead, virtual servers can be provisioned on whatever virtualization platform the company is using, and this can be done at a fraction of the time and cost it would take in a traditional, non-virtualized environment.
Reduce Power and Maintenance Costs
Other areas in which cost savings can be realized are in software licensing, ongoing maintenance and server power and cooling. Obviously, not running physical servers on site means that the costs associated with powering and cooling of those servers, which can add up, are essentially outsourced. Once a server is up and running, the time and cost involved in maintaining it can add up pretty quickly. Virtualization can offer some relief as the need for physical maintenance is reduced or even eliminated. Whether it’s across servers or individual virtual machines, the maintenance that does need to be done can be managed far more efficiently in a virtualized environment; where IT support can often be managed from a single administrative console. Things like security updates can be deployed more efficiently, freeing up IT staff members’ time for other projects. For some small businesses, the majority of IT operations can be outsourced thanks to virtualization and the cloud. This can translate into some pretty dramatic savings for these companies, for whom budgets remain tighter than ever.
Business continuity solutions previously only available to fortune 500 enterprises are now available to all businesses at a nominal expense. If you would like to hear more, please give us a call and we’ll explain how cloud solutions can have a huge impact on your bottom line!
Today’s x86 computer hardware was designed to run a single operating system and a single application, leaving most machines vastly underutilized. Virtualization lets you run multiple virtual machines on a single physical machine, with each virtual machine sharing the resources of that one physical computer across multiple environments. Different virtual machines can run different operating systems and multiple applications on the same physical computer.
1. Get more out of your existing resources: Pool common infrastructure resources and break the legacy
one application to one server model with server consolidation.
2. Reduce datacenter costs by reducing your physical infrastructure and improving your server to admin ratio: Fewer servers and related IT hardware means reduced real estate and reduced power and cooling requirements. Better management tools let you improve your server to admin ratio so personnel requirements are reduced as well.
3. Increase availability of hardware and applications for improved business continuity: Securely backup and migrate entire virtual environments with no interruption in service. Eliminate planned downtime and recover immediately from unplanned issues. 4. Gain operational flexibility: Respond to market changes with dynamic resource management, faster server provisioning and improved desktop and application deployment.
5. Improve desktop manageability and security: Deploy, manage and monitor secure desktop environments that users can access locally or remotely, with or without a network connection, on almost any standard desktop, laptop or tablet PC.
The virtualization platform is built on a business-ready architecture. Use software such as VMware vSphere or Microsoft Hyper-V to transform or virtualize the hardware resources of an x86-based computer including the CPU, RAM, hard disk and network controller. This creates a fully functional virtual machine that can run its own operating system and applications just like a physical computer. Each virtual machine contains a complete system, eliminating potential conflicts. VMware vSphere or Microsoft Hyper-V virtualization works by inserting a thin layer of software directly on the computer hardware or on a host operating system. This contains a virtual machine monitor or hypervisor that allocates hardware resources dynamically and transparently. Multiple operating systems run concurrently on a single physical computer and share hardware resources with each other. By encapsulating an entire machine, including CPU, memory, operating system, network devices, a virtual machine is completely compatible with all standard x86 operating systems, applications, and device drivers. You can safely run several operating systems and applications at the same time on a single computer, with each having access to the resources it needs when it needs them.