Server virtualization is a hot concept in the IT world. But when faced with the prospect of actually implementing this strategy, being trendy isn’t enough. Before moving to server virtualization, it’s wise to take a long, analytical look at what it involves from a logistical and financial perspective.
As part of this analysis, you’ll need to understand the benefits of server virtualization. Before making a decision to move in that direction, you should fully appreciate why virtualization holds such promise.
Among the many benefits you can realize are:
Better response time. Virtualization can improve application performance, and the provisioning of virtual machines takes only minutes, rather than weeks. At progressed levels of implementation, self-provisioning by users is even possible.
Redeployment and reduction of machines. Many companies have old x86 hardware that’s underutilized and contributes to “server sprawl.” Data center floor space can be expensive, and these extra machines add to the IT management burden. With the workload consolidation made possible by virtualization, redundant physical servers can be eliminated or repurposed, perhaps at remote sites.
Improved application availability. When physical servers have problems, need routine maintenance, or require upgrades, the result is costly downtime. With virtual servers, applications can be readily moved between hosts to keep everyone up and running. And when problems do occur, the centralization provided by server virtualization enables easier identification of trouble spots.
Lowered capital and operational costs. A highly compelling reason why virtualization is being embraced by many organizations is the positive effect on the bottom line. Server virtualization allows for savings in multiple areas, such as management time, new equipment expenditures, data center floor space, and energy usage.
Growth opportunities for IT staff. Server virtualization allows IT staff to spend less time doing routine work and putting out fires and more time on strategic development. While some IT staff may initially question why virtualization is being adopted, most IT personnel come to view the move as an exciting challenge and a learning experience that can result in new skills.
- Before deciding on using server virtualization, it’s important for IT and the organization’s executive level to be able to answer with specificity (including financial metrics) why server virtualization makes sense.
- Virtualization allows for more efficient use of IT equipment and labor resources.
- Virtualization can lower overall IT costs.
- IT staff can benefit from virtualization through streamlined work processes and their own professional development.