Top Trends in Virtualization for Small and Medium Businesses
Virtualization as a technology has significantly grown since the 1960s, when IBM came up with the IBM System/360 Model 67, which is largely considered to be the first ever virtual machine. After reportedly surpassing 50% of all server workloads, the exponential growth virtualization is currently experiencing is expected to further boost it to 86% by the year 2016. Of course the two major spearheads are small and medium business, who form a majority of the entities leveraging more than 15 million applications hosted by virtualized infrastructures.
Some of the primary reasons why businesses are increasingly adapting virtualized resources are- improved efficiency and reduced operational costs. In fact, 70% of senior executives claim that the technology has facilitated a significant reduction in operational costs. Due to such critical benefits, small and medium businesses are gradually adopting additional virtualized resources to assimilate them in their operations. Consequently, they are dictating the trends according to the efficiency of different resources and strategies. Some of the top trends which are currently shaping this industry include:
Adoption of Cloud Applications And Storage
The cloud – both public and private cloud- are growing fast and there’s no way of stopping the trend. It took the commercial sector by storm, and just when people thought the trend will probably die or stagnate, the storm is seemingly just getting started. About two thirds of businesses are now enjoying the efficiency and convenience of cloud storage and applications- and the number is expected to triple in the next few years. With adequate connection to a reliable cloud server, storage spaces can be extended according to the needs of individual businesses.
Cloud applications are not only available for intra-business operations by also inter-business communication and collaborations. Some small and medium sized businesses are also distributing their products to customers through the applications supported by the cloud.
Using Server Virtualization for Increased Security
Small and medium sized business have for long struggled with security issues due to increased threats. Data security protocols are now composed of complex networks of firewalls, spyware, adware and web protection technologies, all of which are meant to provide comprehensive protection against imminent threats. Unfortunately, although a majority of these companies spend a fortune, hackers always find new ways to blast through their firewall and infiltrate their systems.
Server virtualization has offered business owners a route out of these costly problems by primarily shifting the security responsibility to security experts. Data can now be stored and backed up securely without having to worry about the additional costs incurred to protect it. In fact, 56% of business owners have the confidence of uploading confidential and sensitive data to protect it through server virtualization. Ultimately, this strategy has driven hackers away from individual resources to focus more on virtualization servers, which fortunately, are better protected.
Deployment of Virtual Desktop Hardware
Desktop hardware had always been a critical entity in most companies’ operating budgets. To boost their performance and employee productivity, businesses had to install expensive computers on each workstation within their premises. But thanks to virtualization, the trend has changed.
Instead of wasting a lot resources in ordering and servicing the latest PCs, small and medium sized are now adopting virtual desktops. All the resources are placed on powerful servers, accessible by all agents according to their departmental levels and jurisdiction. Through that, companies are able to supply their workforce with critical information and resources through simple workstation units. On top of it, if companies have deployed on-premise cloud solutions (e.g FileCloud), it provides additional flexibility to access enterprise data from anywhere using any device including smartphones and tablets.
The virtual desktop infrastructure has also significantly enabled mobile workstations, where workers can efficaciously collaborate and remotely handle tasks. Consequently, businesses are now outsourcing some of their operations to talented but cheaper overseas workers, which ultimately reduces their operational costs. m
Implementation of Metrics
“Without big data analytics, companies are blind and deaf, wandering out onto the web like deer on a freeway”- Geoffrey Moore, Author of Crossing the Chasm Inside The Tomato, indicated as he, along with other industry leaders, emphasized on the relevance of data analytics in businesses. True to his words, only businesses that have implemented effectual analytical systems have consistently towered above the rest.
Before the widespread adoption of virtualized infrastructure, analytics was only reserved for large corporations. They had sufficient financial muscle go hire the experts and implement critical analytical metrics in all their departments to track their workers. Fortunately, the virtualization revolution steered small and medium businesses into the big league of data analytics. Through simple but effective analytical systems, they can track metrics on their various departments and use KPIs to assess their performance. This has enabled them to identify and correct their weaknesses plus capitalize on their strengths.
Shrinkage of Servers
In addition to desktops, virtualization has conveniently facilitated the reduction of servers. To run expansive applications and resource distribution, many businesses were forced to spread their data across different networked servers in their respective locations. However, due to recent developments in virtualization, different servers can now be consolidated into one and still service different locations.
Small and medium business have subsequently taken advantage of this to grow holistically by gradually expanding their businesses to different locations without establishing new servers. Expanding is therefore no longer a reserve for large corporations with extensive budgets for new servers and other IT hardware. Adopting self-hosted cloud such as FileCloud would help companies to extract even more out of their investment on servers.
Although these trends may seem to stagnate for a while, virtualization as a technology is fluid and consistently develops according to the changing business needs. Since small and medium business owners are increasingly competitive, the trends are projected to further boost such businesses to even challenge the large corporations. Serious executives and business owners cannot afford to miss out on such opportunities. So, the question is, are you joining the wagon?
Author: Davis Porter
Image courtesy: twobee, freedigitalphotos.net