Virtualize? Why would we virtualize if everything is already working fine?
The fact is things aren’t working fine. This is an ongoing battle that your friendly IT staff fights on a daily basis. Systems degrade over time, hardware and software becomes out of date, and new technologies are always coming out that help you do more business, while spending less doing it!
So here’s an article geared towards all you business executives, business owners, and decision makers that have recently had a meeting, phone call, or your IT Manager talk to you about virtualization and why your company should implement it.
For any IT professional the choice is clear as to why one would want to implement this technology that you hear all the big companies are using, but for you, sometimes all the technical mumbo jumbo can become confusing or very hard to understand.
Virtulization opens a door to a whole new world of capabilities for your IT systems. Bottom line is they save money and permits you to do more! Whether it is on software licensing or hardware procurement, training or requiring less staff to manage more systems, it helps numerous aspects of your business.
I’ve decided to compose a little list of the main features which are the reason why I decide to use virtualization. The benefit I have is I’m one of the IT guys that wanted to implement this, but at the same time knowing the technical backend of things (and actually being a reseller, and a business owner); I know the benefits as to how it could help my business.
Hardware costs: Since we are an IT solutions company, for the small amount of users in our company we require the same computing power and technologies that major companies use. You could take most companies that have 100-500 users, take all their data and put it on our systems. The fact is, things would be faster on our equipment. We have these systems because we have to test environments for clients, and numerous other reasons. Instead of purchasing 12 servers at a price tag of $2,400/each which sums up to $28,800, you can instead purchase one high-end server for $14,000 that will run ALL of the separate servers concurrently on one physical server. (Keep in mind you still have 12 “virtual machine” servers running on the one physical server). This is one of the clearest forms of cost savings you will see on your investment in virtualization. But there are more to come that are underlying.
Disaster Recovery: One of the most feared words in a business is “backup”. Even with the most state of the art backup systems, restoring or recovering from these backups can be very difficult and time consuming. In the event of a critical failure that brings your business to a screeching halt, it may take hours, days, even weeks to recover. Virtualization solves this by making these “virtual machines” as easy as photocopying a server, and sending it to another machine. With virtualization (depending on the issue) can help minimize downtime in the event from a disaster changing a resolutions time to resolve from 3 weeks, to two days. One of my favorite features in VMware’s product is VMware HA (High Availability). VMware’s high availability actually allows a mission critical physical server to fail, but guess what, nothing happens. The server is already running on another physical server you have with no interruption to the user. Now ask yourself how much money it would have cost you if your IT systems failed for a week?
Simplified Management: This is an easy one. Your IT department will spend less time managing systems, dealing with hardware failures, and have much more time on their hands. This either lessens your requirement to have a large number of IT Staff, or permits them to use their time on other resources.
This is just a simple breakdown on why you should virtualize. I’ve left out a lot of key points; this may be followed up in the future with a continuation.