The SMB market is considering virtualizing their servers more than ever. To ratify this trend, the recent State of SMB IT Report from SpiceWorks™ cites 72% of SMBs have adopted server virtualization in the second half of 2012, and this is expected to grow to 80% by the end of the first half of 2013.

 

Why this upward trend?

 

The obvious answer is SMBs are trying to get more performance and flexibility out of their existing server resources. Considering the rising cost of managing physical data centers, and adding more resources, and the impact of underutilizing server resources, virtualization is the best solution to achieve more out of less.

 

  • Virtualizing servers have left SMB IT teams to allocate resources wherever required and reclaim unused resources resulting in better resource utilization.
  • Server virtualization has also resulted in improved disaster recovery and high availability allowing admins to take VM snapshots at ease
  • A reduced server count also means a reduction in potential hardware failures and fewer physical servers for IT professionals to manage.

 

All this translates to ROI.

 

There is apprehension in the SMB server room about the cost of investment, virtualization being a new technology to venture in, the unidentified challenges that may spring up, whether the architecture is designed only for large enterprises, etc. Despite all these doubts, the growing demand of virtualization reinforces the fact that IT is evolving in the SMB space, and small- and mid-scale companies are coming forward with budgets to invest in newer technologies like virtualization and the cloud.

 

Virtualization is good for SMBs, right?

 

Yes, it is. Of course. No doubt.

 

Here comes the ‘but’ factor. With the adoption of new technologies like server virtualization, the data center foray opens up to various management challenges. Though management is generally easier with the virtual setup, it’s still a challenge for SMBs without the right equipment to help with monitoring the virtual infrastructure, alerting when something goes wrong, and managing allocation of CPU, memory, network and disk resources.

 

As companies try to leverage the cost benefit of implementing multi-vendor hypervisors, it becomes more difficult to get visibility into the heterogeneous virtual environment.

 

Get Visibility & Control

 

Using affordable and easy-to-use multi-vendor virtualization management tools, SMBs can:

 

  • Get VM to spindle visibility into VM, host, cluster and datastore performance issues
  • Identify the resource contention across your virtualized infrastructure
  • Diagnose storage I/O bottlenecks
  • Monitor VM sprawl issues
  • Perform VM rightsizing and capacity planning on your existing virtualized server environment to find how much more VMs can be added, and determine budget for adding more CPU, memory, network and storage resources
  • Use chargeback and showback in a virtual environment and help you control its growth, as well as track resource consumption

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Virtualization is not a big risk for SMBs, and management will definitely not be a deterrent for as long as you have the right visibility into your virtual servers and take control of bottlenecks and performance issues to get the best bang for your buck.

 

Viva virtualization: SMBs and all!