Five Benefits Of Virtualization For Small Businesses

Virtualization offers real and attainable multi-faceted advantages for small businesses. Here are some tangible benefits:

Low operating costs

A growing number of businesses are using virtualization because the technology helps reduce costs drastically.

For instance, server virtualization eliminates the need to have physical servers, which are typically costly to run and maintain. In addition, instead of purchasing separate licenses for each server, you would only purchase one license and host additional servers at no extra cost (some limitations and exceptions may apply). With fewer physical servers, you also save money on power bills, maintenance fees and data center office space and fees.

Increased efficiency

Server virtualization makes more efficient use of computing resources; it becomes possible to increase the utilization of your servers from 15 to 80 percent, eliminating the need for extra servers.

You essentially consolidate multiple physical servers onto one machine running a number of virtual servers. As such, you would cut your capital expenses.

Improved business continuity

Server hardware failure is the most common cause of data center failure. In a virtual server, live migration is a feature that helps maintain business continuity by eliminating downtime.

Faster deployment

Virtual devices allow faster installations of new server applications and/or routers as well as to switch software services, since you don’t have to order equipment.

Instead, all you need to do is configure a new virtual machine, router, switch or storage drive using your special virtualization management software tool. The process typically involves copying an image, significantly reducing setup, configuration and recovery times.

Improved disaster recovery

Backing up virtual infrastructure normally entails making copies of virtual machine file images – an easier process than working with different physical servers.

In addition, hosting virtual infrastructure doesn’t require much equipment, so companies can buy multiple servers and house them in different locations. This makes backups redundant and disaster recovery quick for higher uptime.

Administrators can seamlessly move live virtual machines between physical server hosts without turning them off and without downtime.

Why Virtualization Is A Good Idea For Your Small Business

Thomas Fox is president of Tech Experts, southeast Michigan’s leading small business computer support company.

Server virtualization is the partitioning of a physical server into smaller virtual servers to help maximize your server resources.

In server virtualization, software is used to divide the physical server into multiple virtual environments, called virtual or private servers. This is in contrast to dedicating one server to a single application or task.

Server virtualization provides a small business with almost unlimited storage space. Let’s look at some of the ways that server virtualization could benefit your small business.

Virtualization maximizes server space, which reduces the number of servers needed to store important company data.

Since multiple virtual servers reside on a single physical server, your infrastructure will require less space, saving occupancy costs.

Virtualization will cut down on your energy consumption, which will lower your monthly bill. Because you’ll need fewer servers, you’ll save on hardware costs, as well.

For a small-business owner, these savings can mean a lot in the long run, especially if energy costs are high.

Disaster Recovery
Fires, theft and natural disasters happen, often without warning.

What would happen to your business if all of your important files were stored on in-house servers that got destroyed in a tornado or fire?

With virtualization, that becomes less of a worry, especially if you conduct regular checks to ensure that your data is being properly backed up.

It is equally important that you take steps to ensure the data can be recovered if necessary and that when recovered, the data is usable.

Virtualization cuts down on the risk that an employee or thief could walk off with important company files, something that can happen if you back up company files on external hard drives.

Business Continuity
Unlike disaster recovery, business continuity is about quickly recovering from things like power outages and server crashes.

These two common occurrences could cost a small-business owner a lot of money depending on how long employees remained idle waiting for power to be restored or a server to be repaired.

With a virtualized server environment, server images are often backed up to the cloud – where they can be enabled in real time and act as a replacement server until resources are restored.

Virtual Desktop
This is a growing trend in the business world. Also known as client virtualization, desktop virtualization separates the PC desktop environment from the physical machine and operates in the cloud.

With virtual desktop infrastructure, employees can access the company network from their laptops, tablets or smart devices.

Virtualization has worked well for large enterprises for a number of years, and now the technology is affordable for smaller businesses.

Choosing virtualization for your company is no small matter. You’ll want to make sure you use an experienced, trusted IT partner to make sure your project goes smoothly.