Virtualization is often a term considered for large enterprise environments, however small businesses can take advantage of the cost savings and efficiency that it provides. Options such as VMware a leading organisation in the world of virtualization can be affordable for all sizes of business. Consolidation of your IT infrastructure can lower costs and provide services that are easier to manage.
A major reason for introducing your business into the world of virtualization is to increase efficiency. Multiple services can be consolidated into a single hardware point reducing the need for additional equipment. This makes more efficient use of your system resources including RAM and processing power. Reducing the amount of physical servers provides a reduction in power and cooling costs that may hinder a small business. This means that your old systems which may still provide tools such as payroll, email exchange and file storage can all be merged into one physical host. This reduces the need for your company to keep multiple devices for a single purpose, to run your business.
You can even introduce new features that you otherwise would not have thought possible. Running a Voice over IP system off a virtual machine would eliminate the need of an external phone system in your office. Your video surveillance system could be merged into a virtual machine, reducing the equipment needed to run and control each camera associated with your business. These are just an example of the possibilities that may come from virtualizing your IT environment.
Beyond the introduction of new features, virtualization can be used to provide an environment for old legacy applications that are no longer supported. If you have old hardware or software that is no longer supported by modern operating systems it is possible to install an older version that does. Old software and media that are now inaccessible would easily be solved by virtualising the required system.
Corrupt data and infrequent backups may plague the small business but through virtualization this issue can be easily resolved. The ability to take frequent snapshots of a virtual machine and archive them in case of system failure are just one of the many abilities of backing up your data.
It is easy to see why many businesses are moving towards a virtualized environment and small businesses should be no exception. There are many benefits of moving towards a virtualized platform that businesses of all sizes can and should be taking advantage of.