Server virtualization technology is quite a mystery for new adopters although it has gained its market share for quite sometime, especially in large enterprises and datacenters. A study conducted by VMware showed that over 26% of non-adopters in the SMB market are uncertain about the business benefits or ROI of Server Virtualization; while over 24% are uncertain about which solution is right for their company.
There are some significant business benefits in server virtualization technology that stakeholders and technical personnel must be aware of.
Benefit 1: Improves time spent on routine IT administrative tasks
Nine out of ten IT departments spend at least half of their time doing routine administrative tasks. By using Server virtualization you can automate and simplify such tasks, like managing server workloads, monitoring performance, adding / removing hardware resources, organizing server roles, prototyping, moving and cloning.
Benefit 2: Improves backup and data protection
Backing up a server is one thing but restoring it is another. Prior to virtualization, a severe OS failure was a nightmare situation; especially if that server hold applications like MS Exchange server or Active Directory. With server virtualization you can backup a server in three different levels: server level, application level, file level; thus you can easily restore a single file, a single mailbox, a single mail or database, or even a whole server quite easy.
Benefit 3: Lets you respond to changing business needs
Server virtualization has it! You can prototype, move and clone servers as needed, responding to changing business needs effectively. For example, if you need a new server for your new ERP software, you can easily provision one from your latest Windows Server Template and install the appropriate software without researching for new hardware server or installing the OS from scratch with corporate settings.
Benefit 4: Improves hardware consolidation and hardware utilization
Being able to host multiple virtual servers at host hardware enables you to save space, energy and eventually cost. You can also better utilize hardware resources that go wasted in many physical server installation scenarios.
Benefit 5: Lets you easily recover from human errors
Imagine a software or OS update that goes wrong! Snapshot technology allows you to take a point-in-time snapshot before you perform such action and recover from, with a press of a button.
Benefit 6: Improves uptime
VMware incorporates a number of technologies that prevent unplanned outages; HA, Failover, DRS, Storage DRS to name a few! VMware can monitor and take care of your Servers in order to increase uptime. You can also easily move servers from one hardware host to another and update your physical hosts without any virtual server downtime.
Benefit 7: Extends the life of your legacy applications
You still use that legacy accounting system that works on Windows 2003 and your server goes down. You cannot find a new server to buy that supports Windows 2003. Have you thought to deploy it as a virtual server?
Benefit 8: Improves server security
What about that security sensitive servers? You can create virtual networks to isolate entire virtual server farms as needed.
Server virtualization is a great solution for everyone. Stakeholders have their ROI, a piece of mind that IT department can easily respond to business needs and secure their business; while the technical stuff reduces the time spent on administrative tasks and secure the infrastructure.