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Why SMBs Are Jumping on the Virtualization Bandwagon


Research firm Techaisle just released the results of its 2015 study of server virtualization adoption among small to midsize business (SMBs). The study shows that 54 percent of SMBs have adopted server virtualization, up from 41 percent two years ago. The adoption rate is higher among midmarket businesses — server virtualization in that segment has reached 88 percent and is expected to grow to 95 percent within one year.


Virtualization enables one physical server to be divided into multiple virtual servers. Hypervisor software allows virtual servers to remain isolated and unaware of each other, and allocates the resources of the physical server to the virtual servers.


Each of these virtual servers operates as a unique device capable of running different operating systems and handling different workloads and applications. This enables organizations to consolidate servers and fully leverage existing hardware and software.


Server virtualization was once thought of as an expensive, complicated endeavor that was reserved for the largest corporations. This may have been the case at one time, but not anymore. The latest technologies make server virtualization cost-effective and relatively straightforward to implement, enabling SMBs to take advantage of a host of business benefits:


Reduced capital expenses. A simplified physical IT infrastructure means less new hardware needs to be purchased, installed and maintained, while server consolidation drastically reduces the cost of adding new applications and services. The upfront savings often equal the cost of virtualization implementation.


Reduced complexity and operational costs. A simplified physical architecture is easier and less expensive to manage, maintain and secure when the right tools are deployed. You can focus less on hardware and more on the services and applications that improve business operations.


Centralized management. Both physical and virtual servers can be centrally managed, monitored and controlled from a single console. Existing virtual machines (VMs) can be moved from server to server, allowing for resource sharing and workload balancing.


Improved disaster recovery and business continuity. Copies of virtual servers can be saved and archived as files or snapshots at a remote site for disaster recovery. This creates redundancy without additional hardware. Live migration preserves business continuity by transferring live VMs between physical servers without downtime.


Availability of legacy apps. Instead of maintaining outdated server hardware to run legacy apps, a virtual version of existing hardware can be created on modern servers. The legacy apps perform the same way on the new server, giving you time to update the apps if necessary.


Simple testing of software updates and security patches. Virtualization enables an organization to test software and security solutions on a virtual copy of their IT infrastructure. This allows you to work out as many bugs as possible for deploying new software on your live system.


Support for internal services. If you want to setup a platform, such as a company intranet, for internal use, virtualization allows you to do so on a VM instead of purchasing new hardware.


Virtualization can provide significant cost savings and operational benefits to small business, allowing you to take full advantage of a streamlined IT infrastructure. Contact ICG to learn more about how virtualization can be a game changer for your business.