You’ve likely heard of virtualization. It’s the ability to move both hardware and software out of your office to a vendor offsite – therefore freeing up office space and cutting costs. This likely sounds like a dream come true for small businesses, whose overheads need to be kept to a minimum. But with the ability to virtualize almost everything from networks to server hardware and operating systems, you may feel overwhelmed and have no idea where to start. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some tips that’ll take you by the hand into the world of virtualization.
The key to successful virtualization is to not virtualize too much too quickly. Choose one or two items you’d like to test out, and then give it a go. By only focusing on virtualizing a few assets, you’ll be able to accurately measure how much your business is benefiting from virtualization.
Once you’ve decided to make the jump into virtualization, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Don’t virtualize for the sake of virtualizing
If you have 20 PCs running on an older operating system, but they are still producing results you’re happy with, it may be best to save your money and hold off on virtualization until you really have a need for it.
On the other hand, if you’ve been thinking about buying a new server, it may be smarter to consider getting a virtual server instead since the need is already there.
Understand the risks and challenges of virtualizing individual assets
Server, desktop and application vendors have unique and evolving licensing rules concerning virtualization. With vendor licensing audits becoming more and more frequent, you may be in for a major financial penalty if you’re not following the rules.
It’s been reported that one company saved $4 million in hardware expenses through virtualization. However, they lost $52 million for not remaining in compliance with the software licenses.
Try virtualizing more than one asset
If you start out only virtualizing your server and it doesn’t show immediate benefits, that doesn’t mean you should just give up on virtualization completely. The fact of the matter is that virtualization does save businesses millions of dollars every year in IT expenses, giving them a productivity boost in the process.
You can virtualize many physical assets of your business besides servers. This includes applications, laptop hardware, operating systems and more. All the virtualization process does is deliver these assets to you via the internet instead of having the physical product in your office. So if the server virtualization doesn’t work for you, maybe virtualizing another asset will.
Or it could simply be that your IT service provider is the real problem. Maybe you haven’t found the right virtualization vendor that works best for your business. The only way you’ll ever find out is if you don’t give up the first time you encounter a failure.
For more information about virtualization and how to effectively integrate it into your business, contact us today.