Virtualization Anyone?

Increasingly, small- and medium-business owners are choosing virtualization for their companies. Saving money, maintaining productivity and ensuring the safety of company data are just three of many reasons to take some time to consider whether or not virtualization is a good idea for your business.

Having a server on site might give you greater control over your company’s information, but what happens when your business starts to grow? You need more servers to accommodate the increased data. Servers aren’t cheap. Neither are the people needed to maintain them. If you install new servers, you could have to hire at least one more person to look after them. If your building is too small to house the new servers, you will have to move to a bigger space. Moving, too, can be expensive. Finally, servers have to be kept cool, which means spending more money on your electric bill. All of these extra expenses cut into your bottom line.

Virtualization saves you money by first removing the servers. If your business grows, instead of adding more servers on site, you can add more employees. With virtual software like VMware’s free VMware ESXi, you can create several servers each with its own “space.” This separation will prevent one application from affecting another should something go wrong.

While it’s possible for small- and medium-business owners to create their own virtual servers, it might be better for them to enlist the aid of a managed service provider (MSP). In addition to plenty of storage space for your data, you would get the added benefit of having a team of IT professionals to look after your network, alert you to any threats and fix anything that goes wrong. An MSP team will also manage your backup and recovery. Part of the MSP team’s responsibility would be to not only backup your system but also run regular checks to ensure that the backups are running properly. If you create your own virtual server, either you or someone else on your staff would have to be responsible for the tasks that the MSP would provide, usually for a flat monthly fee.

Choosing virtualization for your company is no small matter. Reducing costs and your carbon footprint and increasing efficiency are great. But implementing virtualization is a process, and introducing a virtual server solution into your business will have to happen slowly over time, otherwise, you could end up causing as many problems than you solve.

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