Virtualization and the Small Business Owner

Virtualization has been around for quite sometime now, but has not really caught on. A 2006 survey of more than 250 enterprise found that 21% of enterprises were planning desktop virtualization projects covering half or more of their enterprise. In 2008, only 16% of these major enterprises had achieved a desktop virtualization deployment. One reason for the 25% failure rate is that enterprises have not been accommodating real user requirements. Rather, they have been imposing them on their population. But outside of mega enterprises, small business owners can benefit from virtualization technologies. Virtualization allows you to host multiple operating systems on one hardware. For example, Sun Microsystems has Virtualbox, a superb software that rivals VMWare’s Workstation. With this free virtualization software, you can host multiple servers on one powerful server. With dual and quad-core processors at affordable prices these days, and RAM at ridiculously low prices, a small business owner can put together a server that can host up to six servers. Just for kicks, I put together a server with 8GB of RAM and installed 6 servers each with 1GB of memory. The servers were for web, mail, crm, file, firewall, and backup. The beauty of it all, no licenses to deal with.

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