We’re all familiar with the needs of large enterprises. So, their embracing of virtualisation makes perfect sense. But many small-business owners doubt that virtualisation is a good idea for their organisations because they don’t have the same needs as their enterprise-running colleagues. The truth is small businesses can benefit from virtualisation in ways that many small-business owners have probably never considered.

Virtualisation is a virtual – as opposed to actual – version of something like hardware, software, an operating system or network. With virtualisation, special software is used to allow a server, for instance, to run several operating system images simultaneously.

Server virtualisation is what allows IT service providers to offer virtually (pun intended) unlimited storage space to their clients. One server can be “divided” to accommodate multiple clients while allowing them to maintain some semblance of privacy. Another term for virtualisation is the private cloud. So, what, you wonder, makes this good for your small business?

Well, for one thing, it will save you money. The money that you would have to spend on installing and maintaining your own server(s) could go toward other business needs, including hiring a quality IT services provider to provide the storage space you need for all of your important business data. What you get in addition to storage space – if you choose your IT support service firm wisely – are

  • 24/7 IT support, on and off site,
  • Backup and recovery services, and
  • Regular monitoring, alerts and problem solving.

Because virtualisation has worked so well for large enterprises, it’s no surprise that more and more small-business owners are jumping on the bandwagon. But there are still some who aren’t sure if it’s a good idea. Caution is good. Fear is not. Before dismissing the idea of virtualisation out of hand, take some time to learn more about virtualisation, and then do some serious research into managed IT services providers to see which one would be the best fit for your company. If you know other small-business owners who are already using virtualisation in their companies, talk to them about the pluses and minuses.