Virtualization for Small businesses

As a small company, the statement “do more with less” is what keeps IT admins on their toes, looking for better ways to save every penny. With upper management reluctant to revamp server hardware, the reliability of your cheap, outdated machines comes into question. Server virtualization, which may seem like an expensive technology that only large enterprise use, may actually be the easiest and cheapest solution.

A recent study by The Register shows that virtualization expertise is still low, especially at the small business level.

Virtualization Expertise

However, the benefits of virtualization cannot be ignored, and may actually be the easiest and cheapest solution available for reliable IT operation. As this PC Week article reveals, any task relegated to an old computer would be better served by a virtual machine on a modern computer.

Here are some highlights from the article:

  1. While VMware sells its enterprise solutions, its free Server product is adequate for many small business apps.
  2. Use the free vCenter Converter to convert your existing computer to a virtual machine.
  3. For users < 10, you can use Windows XP or Vista for many server tasks.
  4. For users > 10, use Windows Server 2008 for around $700.
  5. A smart additional step would be to use a redundant external disk solution. (NOTE: Check out DNFexpress.com for external storage)

So why is virtualization the easier, cheaper solution? Well you’ve created redundancy, high availability and simplified management without ripping and replacing your existing machines–just like the enterprise IT pros. Who’s the small business now?

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