Does virtualization make sense for you?


Probably.  With the Infrasupport approach to virtualization, the cost is low enough and the benefits too good to ignore.

Consider the traditional approach to small business IT networking these days.  Nearly every small business today operates a Windows server and a few workstations.  What happens when your server has a problem?  We all know the answer, even though many don’t want to face up to it.  Your business shuts down.  And stays down until somebody either repairs or replaces that server.

How much does this downtime cost?  The Internet is full of consulting studies trying to figure this out.  All agree, it’s a big number.  You don’t need a consulting study – you know your business, you know the cost if you are unable to operate.

Try a test.  Shut down your server(s) for, say, 1/2 day, and assess the damage.  Now project that cost to a full day, a full week, maybe a full month, and multiply it by your expected probability of a real server failure.  If the number is too high for comfort, you should consider a virtualization project to mitigate the risk of equipment failure.

Here is another angle.  Some businesses need separate environments for test and development and production.  Others should have separate environments but the cost is prohibitive.  If your business is in this category, then the flexibility benefits of virtualization might makes sense for you.

Some businesses have a back room full of old PCs, servers, and other systems that stay mostly idle and run dedicated applications.  What is the cost for all the cooling, space, and power to keep these systems running?  Most of these systems are probably a few generations old.  What is the projected cost to upgrade or replace them?  What is the risk of failure if they break?  If these answers are big numbers, then maybe it makes sense to consider consolidating all these systems into a more nimble, virtualized environment.

What are the major impediments to pursuing a virtualization project?

These seem to be:

  1. Nobody likes IT projects because they never deliver what they promise,
  2. Upgrades are always disruptive,
  3. Virtualization technology is too expensive,
  4. Virtualization technology is immature and not ready yet for small business.

What if there were a credible answer to those impediments?  Keep reading.