In our experience, one of the biggest barriers to the successful implementation of virtualized server systems doesn’t come from technological or training issues, but rather from management. Upper management, quite understandably, tends to be wary of large expenditures or major architectural overhauls. However, for virtualization to work, they must be onboard and fully backing the project. That’s why it’s vital to sell them on the benefits of virtualization.
If you’re looking to convince your IT manager, CFO, or other high-ranking officer on the benefits of virtualization, the key points to stress are those relating to the long-term good it will do your company, both in terms of productivity and your bottom line. They need to see that virtualization isn’t just some tech gimmick – it’s a game-changer that will substantially improve your company’s processes while saving money in the long run.
The Benefits of Virtualization
- Increased stability. Multiple virtual systems can coexist on the same physical hardware, without interfering with each other. One virtual server can crash while leaving everything else on the hardware unaffected. Or, in the case of a hardware problem, virtual servers can be migrated between physical hardware without interrupting their users.
- Reduced downtime. Virtual servers can be operated on and upgraded far more quickly than physical hardware. System changes can be made in a matter of minutes. In many cases, you can upgrade the servers without the users noticing, and without having to halt work.
- Extend the life of hardware. Moving to a virtual system will allow you to get more life out of your older desktop computers, by refitting them to run virtual machine environments instead of upgrading the hardware. A good virtualization strategy could save you tens of thousands of dollars in machine upgrades over the years.
- Easy rollouts. Large scale rollouts and upgrades can be done far more quickly using virtualization. A single static system image can be the basis for every workstation in the building, meaning company-wide deployments can be accomplished in mere hours.
- Disaster recovery. A robust virtualized setup can make disaster planning and recovery far easier, with backup systems prepared to take over in the event of an unexpected failure. Off-site data backup can similarly make data loss a far less costly proposition.
In short, the key to selling management on the benefits of virtualization is to emphasize the long-term cost savings. That’s really all there is to it.