With the increasing challenges of maintaining numerous servers, coupled with the high cost of keeping a robust data center, small and medium businesses are now seeking alternative solutions to keep their IT systems and infrastructure less costly while still being efficient, and at a healthy pace against competition. This competitive atmosphere in business has led to more SMBs seeing virtualization, an emerging cost-efficient and space-saving technology, as away to innovate and further their IT systems at a fraction of the cost.
The multi-faceted advantages offered by virtualization are real and attainable even if you run a small business and since your competitors may not have discovered the benefits of the technology yet you may gain a significant competitive advantage.
According to recent survey conducted by IT firm Acronis, a huge number of SMBs around the world are planning to adopt server virtualization in 2012. Results show the general interest in adopting virtual machines are moving at a faster pace with SMBs as compared to large enterprises. Most of the surveyed IT managers in 16 different countries predicted that 29% of their servers will be virtualized by the end of the year, presenting a possible huge growth rate of 21%.
But is the fairly new virtualization technology worth any company's bucks? And can the SMBs easily adopt the changes virtualization will bring to a any company's IT infrastructure? And what about the risks?
WHY VIRTUALI ZE?
Lower operational cost is, undeniably, a leading factor why SMBs are jumping into the bandwagon. "When we look at virtualization, the primary driver is cost," says Microsoft BG Lead -- Server and Tools, Joel H. Garcia. VMware Senior Director of Channels in Asia Pacific and Japan, Vicki Batka agrees, disclosing that the savings companies get from deploying virtualization comes from its "dramatically lower hardware costs and the associated cooling and space costs."
True enough, Aboitiz Jebsen Bulk Transport Corporation, IS Department Assistant Vice President, Vivian Cristobal, saw this similar savings by having "a cost comparison on doing virtualization as against the traditional buying of server on a four-year period." Aside from the fact that the machines came out cheaper, Cristobal adds that they are still anticipating more reduced costs with energy consumption and reduced data center space.
With this factor alone, convincing the C-level executives in these changes within their IT is not expected to be tough. Even Phelps Dodge Philippines Energy Products Corp. IT manager, Anthony Garcia shares that he did not have a hard time in this aspect. "Executives will just look at the cost and the advantage."
However, Microsoft's Garcia tells that more than the cost, there are more reasons as to why businesses move into virtualization - or in some cases, why they don't jump to it. These all depend on the business needs. "To an SMB, it's either working for them or it's not," highlights Garcia.
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