As a manager or owner of small-to-medium sized business, it’s important to make sure that your organization is doing everything it can to take advantage of cloud computing technology. For many organizations with small pocket size, virtualization promises to provide big performance benefits.
Virtualization enables you to save significant amount of money. Instead of your IT department having to predict how much server space you will need, for example, you can simply purchase more from the cloud computing service provider firm on an as-needed basis.
While many businesses are beginning to take steps to keep their data safe by establishing regular backups, but most of them are only storing their backups locally. A recent Sage study found that a mere 38 percent of small businesses had set up a formal disaster preparedness or emergency plan for their data, also confirmed by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The SBA recommends that small to medium-sized businesses consider survey virtualization to ensure that their data will be protected in case of disaster.
Benefits of Hardware Virtualization
When you set up hardware virtualization, you can create virtual machines that will function like an actual computer with its own operating system. This enables your IT department to run a variety of tests of software and databases using different types of computer setups to help determine the optimal configuration for your organization.
You can easily simulate any type of hypothetical computing environment quickly and efficiently, without having the headache of actually setting up these different hardware arrangements.
When you run a virtual machine, you have the ability to take a “snapshot” of its current state, as well as all of its storage. This is particularly useful when you want the flexibility to revert to a previous state when you are conducting experiments to optimize your computing environment.
You have the freedom to add software and see how it works with different settings, and then go back to the state before you made the changes in case any problems arise during the tests.
Taking Advantage of Desktop Virtualization
With desktop virtualization, organization can connect a large number of inexpensive computers with little hard space, almost like using a dumb terminal, to connect to a much more powerful central computer. When you access the virtual desktop, you can use the company’s network or the Internet to get the job done.
Many of your employees may not need access to high-performance computing power or large amounts of storage on their own computers, and can do their work easily in an environment that relies on desktop virtualization.
Using virtual servers also lets your workers access important files while they are on the go, for example, when salespeople go out in the field or when your team is attending an industry convention across the country.
Offsite Backups for Disaster Recovery
Prudent IT department managers will set up a robust system for backing up all of the company’s crucial data. However, if your organization only keeps backups on-site, what will you do if a natural disaster strikes, or in case of a criminal or terrorist attack? Your local hardware is insufficient for protecting information.
Using virtual servers enables you to keep reliable backups that you can always access in the event of a hardware failure or other relevant problems. Even if you cannot access a working computer during a disaster, it’s possible that some of your employees can download important files using their smartphone and a cellular data connection.
If your organization is not yet taking advantage of virtualization, you should be aware that many of your competitors are using this technology to save money, increase efficiency and achieve the peace of mind that comes from knowing that their crucial data is well protected in the cloud.
There is no need for you to sit idly when your important information is liable to be lost without a backup. Virtualization may rank among the best technological solutions that you adopt this year.
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Matt Smith is a Dell employee who writes to help raise awareness on the topic of Dell virtualization solutions and other network management subjects.