Virtualization technology is no longer reserved for enterprise technology. It has made its way into the world of small-businesses and the benefits are revolutionizing IT for cash-strapped startups and small operations.
Although the word ‘virtualization’ still evokes an image of high costs and technology complexities that are far beyond the abilities of a typical small- or medium-sized business, there’s no denying that it can save money and increase efficiency.
Virtualization is all about defining a computer’s capacity with software computing rather than being limited by its hardware. This offers businesses the potential to scale more easily and greatly reduce reliance on hardware. No longer does your business need to be held back by aging technology or a lack of flexibility.
However, that’s not to say that virtualization is easy – it’s a complex and multifaceted project that requires expert guidance and a thorough plan. Here are three of the challenges you’ll need to overcome to get the most out of virtualization.
Understanding software-licensing terms
Traditional business software-licensing terms can quickly derail the viability of any virtualization project, not just in terms of cost-effectiveness, but also when it comes to using software legally. For example, some desktop applications are licensed to run only on one physical machine at a time, as in the case with home and business editions of Office 365.
One physical machine can run several virtual desktops, which means things can quickly get complicated when determining how many and what sort of licenses you need for your software applications. The only practical (and lawful) way around these complex licensing issues is to choose specialized licenses for virtual desktop infrastructures (VDIs) where possible and to carefully determine the total cost of ownership of all licenses you need.
Maximizing your return on investment
One of the most cited benefits of adopting a virtualization strategy is that it greatly reduces your reliance on in-house hardware, thereby reducing capital expenditures. To use cloud-hosted desktops, for example, the only hardware you’ll need in-house will be a basic networking infrastructure and some barebones computer hardware. However, without expert IT assistance, high operational expenses may negate the cost-saving benefits of virtualization.
Operational expenses are preferable, especially for small businesses, since they’re more predictable and spread out over long periods. The benefits of virtualization are hastily diminished if you’re planning to build an in-house infrastructure complete with your own servers and the dedicated IT department needed to maintain everything.
Migrating to cloud-hosted services provided by a managed service provider (MSP) can save money by consolidating everything under a single operational expense. This option ultimately provides far greater visibility into cost without unpleasant surprises.
Achieving end-user acceptance
While virtual desktops aren’t anything new, they still hold a reputation for lacking the performance of physical systems, especially with cloud-hosted VDIs that rely on fast internet connections to function efficiently. If the connection isn’t up to scratch, accessing your virtual desktops, even over a local connection, can be a frustrating experience.
Achieving end-user acceptance is crucial for ensuring a smooth transition to any new technology infrastructure. When it comes to virtual desktops, end users are going to demand an experience that’s at least as good as using a physical machine handling all computing work right in front of them. If your employees aren’t on board, productivity and morale will be among the first to suffer, at which point your ROI will go through the floor.
Done right, virtualization greatly improves mobility and scalability while simplifying deployments and cutting costs. That’s where Safebit Solutions comes in. We’re here to help organizations in Houston, Baytown and Conroe with VDI solutions you can depend on. Call us today to find out more.