Reading two very different, vendor-sponsored reports this afternoon about server virtualization from a small-business perspective. The timing of their release is merely coincidental, but it also happens to be very telling. That's because while a growing number of small businesses are virtualizing their server hardware, few are doing it securely.
The first report, from IT services firm CDW, finds that 25 percent of small businesses have opted to add virtualization software to at least some of their servers. Virtual operating systems allow more than one OS to run on a single piece of hardware, which means that you can run more than one server application from a single system. The advantage is the ability to consolidate and better use of existing technology resources.
The CDW report, called "The CDW Small Business Business Virtualization Roadmap," found that the average percent of virtualized servers among smaller companies that HAVE virtualized some of their servers is about 33 percent. That was up from about 28 percent in July 2010. The survey was conducted among approximately 300 small-business IT professionals.
The top reasons for embracing server virtualization?
- Replace aging hardware (43 percent)
- Consolidate (36 percent)
- Improve backup and recovery (35 percent)
- Make IT infrastructure more efficient (27 percent)
- Reduce IT operating costs (23 percent)
"In our survey, two-thirds of small businesses that have virtualized their server environments say doing so has significantly increased the ROI of their IT -- but virtualization also requires new skills and knowledge to manage effectively."