“It’s time to do some spring cleaning! It’s been put off long enough!”
It’s easy to let things pile up to deal with them at a later time, especially when you are on strict timelines and only have so many resources. That’s why my desk can look like a disorganized disaster some of the time (but in my defense, it cleans up very well when it needs to).
The point is, there comes a point when it is time to buckle down and get things organized. This can cover nearly all facets of your business (and possibly your life in general), such as:
In all of these cases, the goal is to reduce waste and tighten things up in order to improve over the long run.
One way we can help your business with this is by consolidating portions of your IT.
Virtualization is a process where you take a physical machine, like a computer, network device, or server, and package it into a virtual version of itself that isn’t dependent on specific hardware.
In simpler terms, you can take a desktop computer, virtualize it, and deploy it on a server, or a laptop, or another desktop. All of the software and data comes along with it.
How Does This Fit Into Real World Situations?
There are a lot of applications for virtualization. For example, you can take a full backup of a single device, operating system and all. For complex systems, this can save hours of labor when restoring from a backup. This is great for testing software upgrades and new configurations, giving you a separate environment to test things in.
With virtualization, you can take multiple environments and run them on a single piece of hardware (provided that the hardware has enough computing power to handle them all). A single server can run several desktop environments, allowing users to access all of their applications and files remotely from any device securely. If a user’s laptop breaks, they can sit down at a spare workstation and access their virtualized desktop without needing to install/configure all of their programs and data.
How Can Virtualization Streamline My IT?
Over time, as you implement new technologies on your network, you likely end up with multiple servers and other hardware performing unique tasks. For example, you might have a centralized server dishing out all of your network policies and storing your files, and a separate server for your mail, and yet another server for one of your line-of-business applications. Then there are print servers, fax servers, firewall and security devices, and a whole host of other devices that usually serve a specific standalone function.
All of these devices consume electricity and cost money to manage and maintain. Hardware doesn’t last forever either, so replacing one of these servers at a time as they age and start to fail will add up over the next ten years.
Instead of managing multiple devices, virtualization will let you run most or all of your servers on a single server. This new server will just need the computing capabilities and storage to support the load. In most real-world situations, this isn’t difficult to do, as most business servers tend to be under-utilized if they are just serving a single purpose.
Beyond just saving time and money when it comes to managing and powering these devices, it can also make it easier to be flexible. Since virtualization lets you quickly backup and deploy a virtual environment, you can easily roll out test or development environments before running updates, installing new software, or making big configuration changes. This can bring a lot of IT costs down, and keep your operations fluid.
If your business has more than one server, there is a pretty decent possibility that they can be consolidated into one. If you are at the point where you need to upgrade one, or you need to reduce the overall costs of your IT footprint, virtualization can be a good step in the right direction. Give us a call at 734-927-6666 / 800-438-9337 to set up a call to go over your situation. We want to help turn your IT into a profit center, and not a business expense.