Virtualization myths and misconceptions debunked

img network iStock 877117952

Virtualization is revolutionizing the way companies manage their IT infrastructure. It creates virtual duplicates of their systems (i.e., networks, servers, and storage), helping enhance operational flexibility, efficiency, and cost savings. However, common misconceptions often cloud the true potential of the cloud.  

Below, we debunk five prevalent myths about virtualization, shedding light on its benefits for businesses of all sizes.

Myth 1: Virtualization is only for large businesses

One common misconception surrounding virtualization is that it’s only for large corporations with extensive staff and hardware needs. This assumption, however, couldn’t be further from the truth. Virtualization is a versatile technology that offers substantial benefits to businesses of every size, including small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) with more than one server.

Virtualization levels the playing field, empowering SMBs to compete with larger businesses. By creating virtual instances of their infrastructure, SMBs can:

  • Allocate resources more flexibly: Virtualization allows SMBs to allocate their computing resources to specific applications or workloads as needed, helping them to improve performance and efficiency, and to reduce costs.
  • Adapt to swiftly changing demands: With virtualizations, SMBs can easily scale resources up or down on demand, enabling them to quickly adapt to their changing business needs.
  • Enhance disaster recovery capabilities: Virtualization makes it easier for SMBs to back up and restore their data and applications.

Overall, virtualization can help businesses of all sizes achieve an agile and cost-effective data strategy.

Read also: Server virtualization 101: What small-business owners need to know

Myth 2: Virtualization is too expensive

Business owners may think virtualization comes with a hefty price tag due to the need for additional software, training, and shared storage. These upfront costs do exist, though the long-term savings far outweigh these initial investments.

Virtualization helps businesses to consolidate their hardware infrastructure, reducing the need for numerous physical servers and storage devices. This can lead to significant savings on hardware costs, as well as power consumption and cooling expenses. For example, a company can replace several aging servers with a single powerful host server. This can yield significant savings in both procurement and ongoing operational costs.

On top of this, major vendors will often provide free product trials to help businesses test the waters. Computer-based training options, along with online resources such as blogs, books, and forums, also enable businesses to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills at a fraction of the cost of traditional instructor-led training.

Myth 3: Virtualization can lead to server sprawl

Server sprawl refers to the uncontrolled proliferation of virtual machines (VMs) within a virtualized environment. This myth holds some truth, as virtualization can indeed lead to server sprawl if not managed properly. When organizations create VMs without a clear plan or oversight, they risk wasting resources and increasing complexity.

However, server sprawl can be effectively avoided with the help of third-party tools and services designed to manage and optimize virtual machines. These tools provide valuable insights into VM performance, resource consumption, and usage patterns. They generate reports detailing when VMs were last powered on, identifying idle or underutilized instances that can be decommissioned or consolidated. By using these tools, businesses can prevent unnecessary VM expansion and ensure that virtualization remains a strategic asset.

Myth 4: Consolidation ratios are exaggerated

Some businesses may get that virtualization vendors provide inflated consolidation ratios, leading to skepticism around the actual benefits of the technology. However, it’s essential to understand that these ratios are presented as averages, typically calculated under specific test conditions, and aren’t guaranteed for every workload and environment. Additionally, even if the ratio was as modest as 2:1 (i.e., two VMs per physical server), the impact is substantial. This effectively cuts the number of servers in half, resulting in a significant reduction in operating costs, hardware, and energy consumption.

In cases where the consolidation ratio reaches a mere 1:1, virtualization still offers plenty of additional benefits, including high availability, disaster recovery capabilities, and resource flexibility.

Read also: Pros and cons of server virtualization

Myth 5: Consolidation ratios are the determining factor for success

People often believe that the success of virtualization hinges solely on achieving higher consolidation ratios. While larger ratios can yield substantial cost savings, they aren’t the sole determinants of success. A relatively small ratio, such as 2:1 or 3:1, can still lead to significantly reduced hardware, energy, and maintenance costs. In today’s economic climate, passing up any opportunity for savings would be unwise.

Success in virtualization should be measured by the broader impact on IT infrastructure, including improved resource utilization, enhanced scalability, and agility. It’s more so about simplifying IT management while maximizing efficiency.

Virtualization can offer plenty of ways to drive business growth and productivity. If you’re looking to implement this technology into your workplace, get in touch with our experts at SpectrumWise today. We’ve got a range of tailored solutions to help optimize your resources and improve your overall IT management.


Contact Us

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.