Following on from our beginner’s guide to virtualisation, we thought it would be a good idea to explore a bit further exactly how implementing virtualisation can save your business money.
The extra initial up-front capital investment in software has traditionally made virtualisation the preserve of bigger business, but the falling costs of hardware and long-term savings are making it increasingly common amongst SMEs.
Hardware and maintenance
The most obvious cost advantage to virtualisation is in reducing expenditure on hardware. Yes, setting up a virtual environment requires investment in software and configuration, but once up and running it means you can use less hardware to perform the same functions.
To take a simple example, web hosting companies commonly run multiple virtual servers for their clients on one physical piece of hardware. Without virtualisation, they would have to have a separate physical server for each client, only using a fraction of its capability and taking up far more space in the process.
Less hardware also means less outlay maintaining it.
Fewer physical servers need less electricity. By fitting your IT needs into a smaller space, it also potentially lowers your heating and lighting requirements.
The bonus is that in the process your business also becomes greener.
Running virtual servers makes it much easier to duplicate the entire system on another server. If one goes down, it’s much quicker and simpler to migrate to the backup than using dedicated physical servers.
Although not an up-front cost that can be easily measured beforehand, if something does go wrong, you’d definitely notice if you didn’t have this option – downtime lasting far longer, preventing employees from working and even shutting down business for days, rather than hours.
In the event of real disaster, there could be a virtual solution.
Use of virtual environments opens up varying degrees of centralisation. The more centralised everything is, the less disruptive IT maintenance has to be, as software updates (for example) can be performed away from the user’s desktop PC. And depending on the level of centralisation, there may be fewer updates required.
Processing and memory requirements can even be outsourced to the central server, meaning that employees’ desktop computers are essentially only running the user environment itself. This means that individual computers needn’t be as powerful and can drastically reduce spend on new computers as the need to keep in step with the update cycle recedes.
No matter what size your business, virtualisation can save you money. Our clients typically save 50-70% on IT costs. Find out how we can reduce your IT spend with virtualisation services.