The economy has bounced back considerably since the massive downturn of 2008, but companies of all sizes are still feeling the pinch of limited growth and scarce resources. At the same time, keeping up with the current demands of our fast-paced, always-changing world requires major adjustments to the ways we do business.
And one of those adjustments is the way we approach technology. The days of a dedicated server room containing dozens of humming machine are rapidly coming to an end, and being replaced with virtualized machines. While there are a number of reasons for this shift, chief among them is the fact that virtualization will save your business money. Not convinced? Check out these four areas where virtualization can noticeably reduce expenses.
Reduced Hardware Costs
The average computer only uses a maximum of 15 percent of its total computing power. That means when you work in a physical-server-only environment, in which you have multiple servers to meet your needs, you are potentially wasting as much as 85 percent of the computing capacity.
Virtualization, on the other hand, allows you to create several virtual machines on the same piece of hardware, allowing you to use up to 80 percent of that machine’s computing capacity. Instead of buying five machines, you only need to purchase one. In addition, virtualization contributes to reduced software and operating system costs. If you are using physical machines, each one needs its own operating system and software license. Virtualized machines contain copies of the original machine, meaning you do not have to make those extra expenditures.
Reduced Personnel Costs
Managing and maintaining physical servers requires skilled personnel. Keeping each physical server up and running is often a full time job, requiring IT pros to spend most of each day focused on server management tasks. However, virtualizing machines significantly reduces the time commitment required by those maintenance tasks. This frees up the IT staff to focus on other tasks, including innovation and business development.
Small businesses can even see further personnel cost reduction on virtualized servers by moving to a private data center. By colocating their servers, businesses can take advantage of the dedicated technical support provided by the center rather than hiring full-time specialized staff. There are costs associated with using the data center services, of course, but they are often much lower than the cost of hiring and maintaining a full-time IT staff.
Few businesses today operate on a strict 9-to-5 schedule. Employees are on the go, and expect to access the tools they need to get their jobs done no matter the time of day or where they happen to be located. Whether they are a salesperson who is on the road 300 days per year or a working parent stuck at home on a snow day, being able to stay on top of their work outside of the is important. Virtualization allows this to happen, creating an environment in which employees can access corporate resources from their laptops or mobile devices wherever they happen to be.
This improved productivity keeps your business moving forward — especially since it keeps your employees happy and happy employees are productive employees. Virtualization even allows you to maintain a geographically diverse team. Whether you need to keep multiple offices plugged in to the same servers, or you want to increase your talent pool by hiring individuals from all over the globe, virtualization allows you to effectively manage your business.
Reduced Energy Costs
Maintaining a server room on-site is expensive. The room must be kept at the ideal temperature at all times, and multiple servers place a significant drain on power resources. By virtualizing machines, you use far less power — and spend less money. Again, colocating the servers helps reduce energy costs, as the data center manages energy and divides the cost among the tenants using the space, thereby reducing each individual investment.
Virtualization creates both short- and long-term cost savings, and allows you to keep your business at the forefront of technological trends without significant downtime. If you are still running multiple servers and spending a significant portion of your budget on associated costs, it’s time to consider moving to a virtualized environment.