As a 50 something plus running a business  it is not always easy to know what is a fad and what is a trend. Technology can be complex and you need to learn to focus on what really will make a difference in your life. In this article we’ll take a look at one area that can save you money, make you more efficient, and ultimately make your life easier.

If you are looking for ways to enhance your business for better ROI, you should seriously consider virtualisation, which has risen in popularity over the last ten years and has saved many businesses a lot of time and money. Let me start by explaining what virtualisation is and then we’ll look at the 9 reasons it should be a serious consideration for you.

What is virtualisation?

Virtualisation is the process of creating a virtual version of computing parts, such as servers, storage devices or other hardware elements to enable the simultaneous running of multiple operations. In simpler terms, many physical machines can share the resources of one virtual machine.

There are several different types of virtualisation, along with a range of ways that you can tap into its many advantages to aid your business.

Is virtualisation right for you?

Businesses of any size can benefit from virtualisation. As a small business, it is important for you to carry out proper research. Make a plan of how you might go about using this technology and which of its individual aspects will suit you and your business.

Some experts contend that server virtualisation doesn’t work for all business sizes because the logistical costs incurred will be greater than its advantages.

You should also bear in mind that not all applications will fit into a virtualisation model. If you have employees who use media-rich or mobile apps, or programs that need to be attached to specific peripherals in order to function properly, purchasing additional hardware may be a better option than virtualisation.

If your business doesn’t fall under the few exceptions where virtualisation may not work and you are not using it already, here are nine potential benefits that you could be reaping right now.

1.   It saves money

You will save on maintenance costs, staff salaries and electricity, to name but a few examples. The reasons for these include consolidation of data and installation of various software on a single computer instead of having to purchase additional servers, making it more cost efficient and helping the business to grow.

2.   Flexibility

With virtualisation, you are more in control of your data. Hypervisor software that may be placed on a portable device such as a mobile or tablet makes it possible for your workers to access their desktops remotely and use the same programs they use in the office. This enhances performance, especially if you run a business where your staff travel a lot.

3.   Greater productivity due to very minimal downtime

Some situations arise that are largely beyond your control such as natural disasters, server crashes, power outages, fires or anything else which may cause damage to your physical server. It may even be that the program being run on your physical dedicated server becomes outdated.

Monica Vanezuela, Chief Operating Officer of Sierra Group, shared how the company lost business hours when they ran into a problem with their servers that they couldn’t figure out. They were rescued by an IT company that provided them with the solution of dinCloud virtualisation, which helped to resolve the crisis and eliminated any future unpredictability.

It is easier to have zero or little downtime if you are using a virtual dedicated server, as your data is still accessible.

Brendan Wilde, Online Manager at www.freeparking.co.nz/domain-names/nz highlighted the advantages of using a virtual dedicated server when he wrote that, “VM’s run on large multiprocessor and cluster installations, with vast resources available providing reliability that can exceed dedicated hardware.”

4.   Security

security

Isolation is possible when you use server virtualisation. For instance, if malware or viruses affect one of the virtual servers, the other ones would be safe. Additionally, Hypervisor software makes it difficult for anyone without proper authorisation to access the devices of users if they are lost or stolen.

5.   It saves space

Physical servers take up a huge amount of space that would be far better used as an additional work space or perhaps a recreation area for staff or clients.

6.   Faster disaster recovery

With virtualisation, data can be easily retrieved should there be a breakdown or an outage.

HotSchedules, for example, provides restaurant officials with a tool that helps them check their schedules and exchange shifts via the internet, as well as duplicating data from its virtualised databases and sending it to a secondary site. This makes it possible to access data even in the event of server issues.

7.   Grow your business by getting the most out of your staff

IT managers spend a lot of time trying to get physical servers to function properly, requiring more manpower. Once you have successfully incorporated virtualisation, the system becomes fully automated, reducing IT work hours and giving your employees the time to be productive in other places.

Additionally, you do not need to have an IT department, as you can outsource any issues to a team of experts who can work remotely, while you enjoy the peace of mind and channel your energy into other productive ventures.

8.   Rehearsals

You can test the use of application software on one virtual server to see how well it works with other operating systems and setups.

9.   Access to old data

You’re still able to access your old data, applications and software even if some of it may no longer be supported.

Need I say more? Virtualisation could be hugely beneficial for you and your business. Start looking into a virtual switchover today and your business could massively increase its capacity, productivity and profitability in a matter of weeks.