Virtualization is one of the most exciting trends happening in IT right now. The term refers to the creation of “virtual” rather than physical IT assets. Both hardware and software can successfully be virtualized and run from remote servers, which creates unique advantages for small businesses, and eliminates many common IT problems.
What is most exciting is that the benefits of virtualization are no longer limited to the largest companies. Cost and efficiency improvements have made this technology accessible to all businesses, as long as they have an IT partner that knows how to implement the system effectively.
Small businesses that are struggling to manage their IT infrastructure are discovering the advantages of virtualization:
Reduced IT Costs
One of the most commonly overlooked expenses involved in running any IT infrastructure is the cost of electricity. This is especially true if you have on-site servers. Virtualization allows you to access computing resources that are housed remotely, which lowers your electric bill every month.
Virtualization also facilitates easy scalability. You can add or subtract resources from your IT infrastructure as you need them. That spares you from having to invest in expensive pieces of hardware or levels of processing power that you may only need temporarily.
Minimal Space Requirements
“Small business” does not just refer to the number of employees; it's usually a reflection of square footage too. Your IT needs may expand beyond the physical space you have at your disposal. Servers and desktops take up a lot of room, which can force you to invest in a larger space, or to compromise your business operations to fit everything in.
A virtualized IT infrastructure allows you to access the same levels of computing power with significantly fewer machines. If your small business is clogged up with wires, monitors, and processors, there is a simple way to reduce the clutter without sacrificing any of the capabilities. Imagine what you could do with the space that is freed up.
Hassle Free IT
Virtualized computing environments are able to avoid some of the most frustrating problems that plague physical machines. Virtual machines allow you to make changes to your system without ever experiencing downtime.
Disaster recovery is another major benefit. If your small business experiences power failures, flooding or some other debilitating event, your primary IT resources are kept free from damage—on virtual machines off-site. No matter what condition your office is in, you can access your company data, crucial software, and processing resources from elsewhere which greatly reduces the consequences. And when it comes time to reopen your business, you have fewer physical resources to replace.
Virtualization is an exciting technology, but setting it up and running it effectively takes specialized expertise. That is why it is so important to work with an IT provider that has virtualization experience and knows how to deliver the benefits to small businesses. With the right partner, you can access the same technologies that major companies have been using to bring down costs and increase operational efficiency. Find out how to identify that partner by reading our white paper “The Ultimate Small Business Guide to IT Outsourcing.”