Being in IT, “buzz words” are always being thrown around about the newest and coolest technology. Virtualization used to be one of these cool new topics. It was common to hear, but who really knew what to do with it or how to use virtualization?
When I graduated college some years back, I had the opportunity to work with a brand new start-up in the Bay Area/San Jose market. I was fresh out of my communications major at Chico State and was ready to do something fun. I had never been involved in the tech industry, but being from San Jose, many of my friends were already heavily involved with the numerous technology companies which rested in my hometown. This opportunity was to join a friends company, which focused primarily on this new “buzz word” virtualization. We were to be the next big virtualization vendor, helping SMB’s with information, migration, and overall consulting to help them achieve these mysterious benefits of a virtualized environment.
What I quickly learned was how to explain the benefits of virtualization, whether server or desktop, to an audience who I presumed knew nothing of the topic. I would use visuals and ROI calculations, which all seemed to impress our prospective clients. Then I would have my business partners come in to answer the more technical questions and essentially close the presentation. We were able to have our voices heard because even though people knew about the “buzz word”, they didn’t necessarily know why they should jump on this new technology. Our job was to show that virtualization was and still is a valuable asset to any IT department, and offers many benefits.
My pitch back then was that with a virtualized environment, a company could help lessen their environmental footprint by creating an energy efficient department, with proven savings. These savings were in hardware-“Lets actually USE your servers for what they can do, instead of waste many of their resources”. This benefit comes because when you virtualize your servers, you are able to run multiple systems at the same time on the same piece of hardware. Take one server that was once used for one activity, and partition it to run multiple server duties. Now instead of your datacenter holding racks of energy-sucking servers, taking up tons of real-estate in your warehouse, you can consolidate that mess and fully utilize each server to its capabilities.
When it came to desktop virtualization, I would try to paint a picture of the hardships most IT departments faced on a daily basis. Desktops would go down, and someone would have to call their IT admin to come fix it, whether it was a real problem or not. IT personnel would spend much of their time fixing basic problems and not focusing on bigger-picture items, which would eventually help their organization grow. When you virtualize your desktop environment, if a problem arises, you can just shut that computer down and pull up a new one on the same piece of hardware. This would save resources and time and allow the IT department to focus on high payoff activities, instead of daily maintenance.
It’s funny that years later, I am still working with this technology and now know that the “buzz word” virtualization wasn’t just a trend. Companies are dedicating teams to this technology because of the many valuable benefits. Businesses have continued to follow the once “buzz word” virtualization and have since learned that not all trends are destined to become obsolete. Virtualization has shown its benefits, and the industry has responded in masses.
If only I knew then what I know now, I may just be writing this from an island somewhere. But for now, at least I understand why this technology has stayed around for this long.
See below for 5 ways Virtualization can help your business:
Reduce hardware costs
Faster Server Provisioning and Deployment
Greatly Improved Disaster Recovery
Significant Energy Cost Savings
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