Large enterprises must concern themselves with recent virtualization trends. For example, they must worry about things like hyper-converged infrastructure and cloud-native apps. Unless your start-up specializes in cutting edge IT, you face more basic questions, such as:
"What is virtualization?"
"Does my small business really need it?"
Keep reading for a quick overview of virtualization that should help you make an informed decision.
What is Virtualization?
In a nutshell, it means you create an IT service or resource largely divorced from the hardware you use. In most cases, software lets you create this service or resource.
Let's use a basic PC as an example. For a PC to operate and prove useful, you must install an operating system and any software you need onto the hard drive. Without the right hardware installed, the OS and other software won't run.
With virtualization, you install the operating system and software on a server. Then, the computer at an employee's desk only needs enough hardware to run the software that displays the OS and software. The server handles the heavy lifting of actual processing.
At the server level, you often see several virtual servers created with software that co-exist on a single physical server.
Virtualization Benefits and Pitfalls
Virtualization offers a number of benefits. You can enjoy cost savings on workstations since they don't require top-shelf hardware in every computer. You avoid the expense of upgrading individual PCs every few years.
Some other virtualization benefits include:
- Speeds up disaster recovery/business continuity
- A more secure IT environment
- Longer lifespan for older but crucial software
- Simplifies cloud migration
- Better use of server resources
- More flexible IT resource use
Of course, virtualization also comes with its share of pitfalls.
You generally need an expert to set up and maintain the desktop, server, or network virtualization. Initial setup and software can prove expensive. Software licensing can prove complex and expensive if handled incorrectly.
Do Small Businesses Need Virtualization?
Most small businesses can benefit from virtualization but need depends on the business. A small startup with only a few employees could streamline some processes with it, but you probably do without it right now.
A small game development company running dozens of servers for hosting and development is a different story. That business probably does need virtualization. for developing the same game for different platforms.
In essence, you need for virtualization grows the larger and more complex your IT infrastructure becomes.
Parting Thoughts on Virtualization
Many small business owners rightly ask, "What is virtualization and does my small business need it?" At its core, virtualization provides a more flexible IT environment that makes certain tasks simpler.
Whether you need virtualization depends on the current size and complexity of your IT environment. As a rule, business running a lot of servers and workstations will benefit more than businesses running only a few.
Alura Business Solutions offers several virtualization services for businesses. For more information about our available virtualization services, contact Alura today.