Virtualized business: Costs and benefits
Virtualization addresses many challenges that businesses face when upgrading their hardware and network. That’s because deploying virtualized systems offers an affordable and flexible solution to a typically arduous problem. But before you invest in a virtualized infrastructure, consider the following costs and benefits.
One of the most significant advantages of virtualization is that it eliminates the need to buy more hardware to supplement your company’s requirements. Because it consolidates your physical servers, there’s no need to maintain and update unnecessary hardware. This means less time and money spent on maintaining and running your servers and managing desk side support.
Moreover, virtual machines have made backing up your entire data center a lot less demanding. That’s because virtual machines take up-to-date snapshots of your servers and redeploy them seamlessly to another device. Unlike physical servers that require you to create backups of your server and current data, virtual backups cut the waiting time for server reboots.
Virtualization also eliminates the risk of accidentally losing files. Should disaster strike your physical servers, you can easily migrate your virtual machines to another device and keep working as if the incident never happened.
Additionally, opting for virtualization allows your company to have a higher degree of technological versatility because virtual machines have the added flexibility to run on different platforms, servers, and hardware. This means you won’t be tied down to a single IT provider. What’s more, your company has the freedom to upgrade hardware without long server downtimes.
Finally, utilizing virtualization solutions puts your business in a good position to easily migrate to a prolific cloud environment.
Factors to consider
With no apparent disadvantages to virtualization, you’re probably getting ready to set up some virtual machines. But before you start virtualizing your business, consider the following factors first:
- Initial costs to set up your network’s hardware and software still exist, so thoroughly check the services and devices that your company needs before moving forward.
- Note that virtualization is an effective solution when you start with 5–7 servers running at your workplace. Usually, 10–15 is the optimal number of servers when you’ll start seeing a return on your investment. If you have fewer servers than the ones suggested above, then it’s probably best to opt for a different IT solution.
- It’s important to consider your staff’s skills and experience with technology before switching to virtualized systems. Do they need training? How can you help them transition quickly to the proposed infrastructure?
- Will your business have enough storage capacity? As a general rule, you should set aside 30–40 GB per user.
- Think about setting up failovers to ensure the security of your virtual system.
- Some applications are not compatible with virtualization such as mobile, media-rich, and certain security apps. So if your employees tend to use these types of software, it would probably be best to deploy a smaller-scale virtualization solution.
- Pay attention to the conditions of your software license. Installing some applications on several computers could lead to increased costs.
Overall, the increased flexibility and reduced cost that a virtualized system offers are well worth the effort. While there are initial challenges to implementing virtual machines, many small businesses believe that the benefits outweigh the costs. To find out if virtualization solutions are for you, contact us today.