Many companies, both large and small, have long understood the benefits of server virtualization, which allows them to make the most of their limited system. However for server [tp lang=”en” only=”y”]virtualization[/tp][tp not_in=”en”]virtualization[/tp], which allows employees and users to access information from any computer in the world, ultimate success has been far more elusive. This is partly due to the fact that many companies are reluctant to implement this technology because of security concerns, but this is only one factor to consider. Before closing the book on this potentially beneficial tool, learn about the ultimate pros and cons of server virtualization.
Single, Centralized PC
The network is far more expansive with server virtualization, but luckily all those laptops and PCs are connected to a single, centralized data center. This means that the bulk of maintenance is concentrated on this long unit, which can ultimately lower a company’s IT budget.
Long-Term Cost Reduction
The initial start-up to implement this technology is potentially costly, but you’ll save money when it comes time to maintain and update the system. Your IT department could spend weeks updating every autonomous PC and laptop, a process that is dramatically shortened simply because the technicians must only maintain that single, central unit.
An employee will always appreciate any technology that makes his or her life easier. With server virtualization an individual has secure access to any and all information, making it possible to close the deal or dazzle a potential client with greater ease.
Hardware and server failure are an unfortunate reality, but properly implemented server virtualization software will help ensure the periphery network remains virtually unaffected, meaning that the time disconnected from the system is minimized.
Caring for an Infected Workstation
By far, one of the biggest advantages of server virtualization occurs during an IT department’s most stressful time: a compromised workstation. Luckily, all that your intrepid technicians must do is remove the PC or laptop from the network, restore the computer’s settings and reconnect it to the system.
Overall System Security
Far and away, the biggest concern many have is the potential security risks associated with server virtualization. A properly trained IT department, and constant updating of the system, can reduce this risk, but be prepared to spend a pretty penny keeping your network secure. The system management alone will take a huge bite out of your IT budget, and this is no guarantee your vast network will remain completely secure.
Basically, implementing server virtualization software will amplify the simplicity or complexity of the network’s applications and updates. Basic updates are a breeze, but be prepared to stress your IT department when it comes time to install a more complex application, including multimedia applications.
Sizeable Initial Investment
Compared with the alternative, the long-term costs associated with server virtualization are in many instances extremely low. However, the initial investment, which includes purchasing the client and having it properly installed and set-up, can be extremely expensive. Before implementing this technology, it’s critical to weigh the initial start-up costs against any potential long-term savings.
Configuration and Maintenance Woes
There’s no getting around the fact that maintaining a company’s virtualized network is extremely complicated. Many are discovering quickly their in-house IT department is simply incapable of performing these duties, requiring the services of an outside entity. If a company does decide to expand their internal IT department, the cost of hiring these highly specialized technicians must be taken into consideration.
Increased Storage Requirements
Finally, any company that employs several hundred or thousand employees must keep these indivdual’s increased needs for storage in consideration. Each of these users will inevitably use different apps and save their own personalized settings, which will have a dramatic impact on the system’s storage requirements.
Many pundits and experts have long touted the benefits of server virtualization, but the jury is still out on the long-term benefits and downsides associated with server virtualization. Ultimately, a company and IT department must weigh the pros not only associated with the technology’s initial investment, but also the potential costs of maintaining the system. For some, server virtualization makes total sense, while others may find the complexity and cost far too much of a gamble, and walk away.
Guest article written by: James Stevens is a freelance IT consultant and server virtualization enthusiast. His love of computers began at a young age, when his father showed him a picture of one of the first computers- one of the models that could fill up an entire room- in a textbook. Besides anything tech-related, in his free time he plays in his rock band, “The Drowning Fish.”