Information technology (IT) increases the efficiency of organizations when managed effectively. However, as organizations grow, and as IT resource demands increase within organizations, IT management also becomes increasingly complex, costly and time-consuming. IT virtualization solves many of the challenges that emerge within a growing organization by decreasing IT hardware costs, administrative costs, the demand for IT space and the risk of downtime. Virtualization solves the most common IT challenges in the following ways:
1. Virtualization technologies increase server availability, simplify and centralize system management, and lower the cost of IT infrastructure through more efficient and effective use of hardware resources.
2. IT virtualization increases the return on IT asset investment by decoupling operating systems and services from the hardware/platform components upon which they run, enabling agnostic deployment and redeployment of systems.
3. Legacy hardware and platform-centric solutions require data-center space availability, include higher system-management cost factors, and have hardware-expansion challenges (as the organization grows). In addition, they warrant ongoing administrative maintenance and higher utility expenses (such as for electrical power and A/C). However, virtualization technologies minimize and, in some cases, eliminate the challenges associated with hardware-centric solutions by:
- Enabling full backup and partial (or "snapshot") automated backups with zero downtime interruptions.
- Lowering availability costs and overhead by facilitating flexible fault-tolerant and failover solutions within virtual environments that are not hardware dependent; as a result, enterprises substantially decrease the server-to-administrator ratio.
4. Virtualization technologies also open the doors to low-risk, low-cost system scalability and expansion.
- System storage features instant expansion through the simple reconfiguration of virtual systems without the performance degradation that would occur in legacy hardware-centric systems.
- IT virtualization enables instantaneous service, as well as zero-downtime upgrades and changes (such as upgrading a CRM or ERP solution) with lower risk.
- IT virtualization facilitates proper change management by decreasing the time and cost for reconfigurations, updates, upgrades and system expansion. The setup before deployment in a complete virtual test environment is minimal; there's no need for a duplicate set of hardware, which costs a substantial amount of time, space and IT resources to maintain.