Virtualization Roundup: The Fix for Sky-High Data Storage Costs, Cloud Concerns, & Payoffs for SMBs

Virtualization technology is all the rage — and not just for big business. With small and medium-sized businesses alone shelling out an estimated $1.2 billion a year on virtualization, here's a look at the latest insights into how virtualization bolsters any business:  

1. Spending Too Much on Storage Hardware? Flash Virtualization Can Help 

Until now, IT leaders faced with frustrating input/output (I/O) bottlenecks jamming up their systems had one solution: to spend more on storage hardware. Jeff Aaron, vice president of marketing at PernixData, argues for a flash virtualization alternative in InformationWeek. "Many companies are keen for a change," Aaron writes. "They want a solution whereby storage performance is decoupled from storage capacity, eliminating the need for unnecessary storage hardware upgrades." Flash virtualization can do just that, allowing IT to increase performance without shelling out for expensive storage infrastructure upgrades. 

Read more at InformationWeek

2. A 'Bridge' to the Cloud: Virtualization Eases CIO's Fears

Despite cloud computing's growth, some IT leaders still have concerns about security and 24/7 access. According to IT Business Edge contributor Arthur Cole, it is "incumbent on virtual platforms to help the enterprise retain a sense of the familiar as it embraces the new cloud paradigm." However, a recent survey from QuinStreet Enterprise found, surprisingly, fewer than half (43 percent) of organizations have deployed server virtualization, while 17 percent have no plans to do so this year. "So before we start dreaming of all the magical things that can happen on virtual and cloud platforms," Cole warns, "we should recognize that a large portion of the installed IT base is still not ready." 

Read more at IT Business Edge

3. Virtualization Isn't Just for the Big Guys. Small Businesses Can Benefit, Too

Think virtualization is just for the General Electrics or Procter & Gambles of the world? Think again. SearchServerVirtualization explains how small businesses, with a fraction of the servers used by the Fortune 500, can use the technology to save money and to use (often limited) IT resources more wisely. With virtualization, SMB IT leaders can make decisions based on features and user needs — not just cost. 

Read more at SearchServerVirtualization

4. What's Driving Enterprise Virtualization? 

Matt Liebowitz, advisory solution architect at EMC Global Services, gives five reasons for why enterprise virtualization will accelerate in 2014. Here's a snapshot: 

  • Private cloud adoption: "Private clouds allow organizations to deliver IT as a Service to their users and customers, helping them to be more agile and flexible to changing business demands."
  • Taking on a "virtualize first" policy: "Virtualization can be a cloud enabler, so simply getting business critical applications virtualized can help any business start down the path towards a private cloud."
  • Opportunities for cost saving: "Virtualization and cost savings often go hand in hand, since organizations can reduce the number of physical servers they need to buy."

Read more at Infocus

5. A Flawless Approach to Switching Hypervisors

If the prospect of switching hypervisors has you up all night, don't fret. Brian Posey, a contributor for SearchServerVirtualization, recommends asking yourself a few questions before making the switch: 

  • Is your staff trained on the new system? "Proper training is necessary to ensure that the IT staff knows how to properly deploy, configure and manage the new environment."
  • Will you lose any features? "Before you commit to switching hypervisors, it is critical to do a feature-by-feature comparison so that you can determine whether you will be losing any important features."
  • Will there be a service downtime? You'll likely have to shut down the virtual machine before migrating, so limit downtime by anticipating the extenuating factors that could keep your system offline. 

Read more at SearchServerVirtualization

[Image via CanStock]