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More small businesses counting on the benefits of virtualization

April 27, 2015

Small-to-midsize businesses (SMBs) are increasingly turning to virtualization technology to get more performance and flexibility out of their server infrastructure, according to IT industry analysts.

Once the domain of large enterprises with deep pockets, virtualization software has gotten more affordable, making it the right choice for SMBs that want to do more with less. Virtualization allows users to partition a physical server into multiple virtual servers in an effort to cost-effectively maximize resources.

“Virtualization is a growing technology being deployed by SMB customers,” said Chris Chute,” Vice President of the SMB Cloud & Mobility Practice at Framingham, Mass.-based IT research firm IDC. “Affordable server virtualization solutions bring the benefits of increased network performance to budget conscious IT managers looking to increase capabilities without incurring new hardware costs.”

Benefits of virtualization software
Virtualization helps users mitigate the rising costs associated with running physical data centers. According to experts, SMBs that take advantage of virtualization technology can expect several benefits, including:

  • The ability to reclaim unused or underused compute resources resulting in better resource utilization
  • Improved disaster recovery and high availability
  • The potential to reduce the number of physical servers being used, which in turn leads to fewer hardware failures and physical resources that need to be managed

Overcoming virtualization problems
Virtualization offers many benefits but the virtual environments can be tricky to manage. Smaller organizations adopting the technology should take steps to avoid common problems that tend to arise.

One of those problems is virtual server sprawl. It’s a situation that often pops up because virtual servers are relatively easy to deploy and easy to forget about once they are deployed.

Server sprawl can be avoiding by adopting some basic management policies and procedures. Policies should cover who is allowed to deploy virtual servers, how the servers are maintained, and who is responsible for decommissioning the servers. Companies should also adopt policies server naming conventions, where servers will reside and how long each server will be needed.

Software licensing is another issue that can become problematic in a virtualized environment. Experts recommend reaching out to your software vendors’ licensing specialists so you can fully understand the ramifications of running applications in a virtual environment. It’s also a good idea to go into those discussions with a solid understanding of how your infrastructure works and how users and devices communicate with applications and services.

Organizations rolling out server virtualization also need to be sure to test applications thoroughly before going into production with a virtualized environment. Mission-critical applications should be deployed in a virtual test environment, connected to a test database and tested for both functionality and performance.

How Carbonite can help
Businesses are embracing virtualization because it can reduce costs, free up valuable IT resources and deliver superior performance. Carbonite Server Backup includes advanced backup functionality for Microsoft’s Hyper-V hypervisor. Some of the benefits and other capabilities include:

  • Restore VM disks to any local machine
  • Schedule backups flexibly and frequently
  • Use full backup for a complete VM snapshot
  • Schedule full and incremental backups to align with workflow
  • Choose local or cloud backup targets
  • Replicate and restore VMs individually or within a VM cluster
  • Recover files with a simple drag n’ drop or cut n’ paste

Carbonite Server Backup gives you robust protection for your entire virtual infrastructure, from individual Hyper-V VMs to multiple virtual servers. It’s the safest way to reap rewards when virtualizing.

Learn more about Carbonite Server Backup.

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