How Virtualization Can Save the SMB

7/18/13 9:00 AM Laura Pelkey Virtualization

virtualization, SMB virtualization, vmware virtualization, hyper-vSMBs face a number of IT challenges- soaring hardware costs, under-utilization of hardware, over-utilization of employees, security vulnerabilities and decreasing storage space. All organizations struggle with one or more of these challenges, but SMBs in particular have limited bandwidth for dealing with these difficulties. Virtualization can help reduce, or even eliminate, some of these issues completely. Let's examine a few ways that virtualization can help your SMB become leaner and more efficient with its IT operations.

Cost Savings

Virtualization provides a number of cost saving advantages.  Industry statistics indicate that savings can range from $500-$600 per server each year.

A decrease in the number of servers through consolidation means there's reduced power and cooling costs. WIth less servers, there can also be substantial space requirements to host the systems. 

In some cases, the extraordinary expense of having to allocate an entire new data center infrastructure can be eliminated through space savings. Software costs can also often be reduced by re-evaluating the appropriate configuration of newly virtualized systems and selecting more applicable licensing. 

Low-cost storage solutions such as NAS and iSCSI SAN storage are also readily available. These storage technologies allow distributed locations to share data at a much lower cost. 

Improved Resource Utilization

Gone are the days of having one application per server. Utilization of hardware can be drastically improved through virtualization by consolidating resources, reducing the need to purchase additional hardware. Applications and resources co-exist in harmony on a reduced number of servers. Servers that were previously collecting dust can be recycled as virtualized systems again saving on the need to purchase specific hardware. 

Employee utilization in your IT department is also improved since there are less servers to maintain. Virtualization reduces the need to build new physical machines as well as maintenance efforts. In the process, this allows employees to focus on more substantial work that can really benefit your business objectives.

Security Benefits

There are also major security benefits of virtualization. Machines operate in isolation from each other on the same physical machine unlike a traditional build where a virus or other attack can cripple the entire physical machine. In the event a virtualized machine is attacked, it becomes much easier to either clean or re-build the virtualized machine with reduced impact as a result of faster response times by your team. 

Disaster recovery is typically an expensive option for SMBs that provides a robust solution in the event of a natural or other disaster to your organization. However with the cost savings introduced as well as through server consolidation, it becomes achievable for organizations to partake in one. Any servers no longer utilized as a result of virtualization can be repositioned as disaster recovery systems without the organization having to purchase new hardware

Lastly, business and application continuity is also improved. Any unplanned outages as a result of a security or other incident can be minimized and recover sooner than before. Entire virtualized environments can be easily backed up and migrated to other environments while eliminating or minimizing interruptions to your business operations. 

We've examined a few of the ways in which virtualization can save your SMB invaluable time, and money: cost savings, improved security, better availability, and more efficient employee utilization. Take a closer look today at the immediate benefits virtualization can provide for your SMB.


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