virtualization for small businesses

Virtualization For Small Businesses: Top 5 Q&A

Virtualization has completely changed the way we look at resource allocation today. Traditionally, servers were grossly oversized in an effort to ensure scalability and redundancy. The trade-off was disproportionate costs related to actual needs.

Now, thanks to technological advancements, virtualization for small businesses can provide them a much greater level of control on hardware resources. Additionally, the redundancy, failover, upgrade, and disaster recovery processes are much faster, more reliable and more scalable.

Below are five common questions I get related to virtualization for small businesses. Hopefully my insights are helpful as you begin the process of adopting this as an IT solution.

How Should A Small Business Transition To Virtualization? At What Point Is The Timing Right?

Quite honestly, even organizations with only one or two servers should look at virtualization. Having a server built in Xen, HyperV or VMware makes upgrades, patching, and migrations much easier.

The most common scenario to start looking at virtualization is when you are investigating upgrades in server software or hardware, or when additional servers are required.

What Steps Should Small Business Owners Take To Get Started?

A solid analysis of server requirements and migration planning are key. If this is done properly before switching to virtualization small businesses should notice little – if any – downtime.

What Are Key Ways To Make The Process More Efficient?

Having the correct hardware set up is key. Yes, you can do virtualization with a single node and see value. However, properly sized hardware can ensure even greater levels of redundancy and failover with minimal additional cost.

Before proceeding with virtualization for your small business, make sure you know your correct hardware requirements.

What Are Some Common Problems To Avoid, And How Can Small Businesses Best Do This?

Properly designed virtual storage is also key. Ensure that the method being used is fully supported and dynamic.

Storage and memory are the most common elements that are undersized in a transition to server virtualization – whether its a small business or an enterprise making the transition. 

What Advice Do You Have For Small Business Owners Who Are Approaching Virtualization For The First Time?

Moving to virtualization for the first time is one of those instances where you really do need outside help if the skillset does not exist internally.

There are several brands of hypervisor and all have pros and cons. Select a partner that can help determine which one makes the most sense for your organization.

Next, map out your services (NOT servers) and determine what their need for redundancy is. How long can that service be down before it negatively affects business operations? What would happen if the data was lost all together? Could you recover?

Some systems are more tolerant than others. These answers will help size the appropriate hardware and level of redundancy required to be completely successful.

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Are you a small business owner? What questions do you have related to the advantages of virtualization as a small business IT solution? Feel free to leave them in the comments, and one of our team members will answer them for you – and other small business owners – to see when they’re ready to put virtualization to work.